Ed Boatman, Transport for London, explained that 780 responses had been received to the recent consultations on the Better Junctions scheme at Hammersmith Gyratory. 73 percent of respondents either supported or partially supported the proposals. Transport for London therefore proposed to proceed with the scheme which had been consulted on with some amendments in response to the views of residents. The pedestrian crossing from Shepherds Bush Road to the Broadway Centre would now be retained.
A resident noted that there was a difference between the proportion of people who TfL had claimed supported the scheme and the proportion who had made positive comments. Mahmood Siddiqi explained that the 73% figure was based on respondents ticking a box to indicate their support, whereas the figures the resident was referring to had only considered the comments which had been made. Many of those who had left negative comments might well have criticised a particular aspect of the scheme, but still selected the Support or Partially Support tick box. A resident explained that they had indeed been very critical of the removal of the crossing from Shepherds Bush Road to the Broadway Centre, but had selected the Partially Support tick box as they were otherwise in favour of the scheme.
A resident said that the phasing of traffic lights needed to be planned carefully to ensure that cyclists were not delayed excessively. Ed Boatman said that it was intended that progression around the gyratory would be good. A resident was concerned that pedestrians might walk into cycle lanes. Ed Boatman explained that marshals would be employed when the new layout was introduced; this would encourage all users to be responsible.
A resident felt too few people had responded to the consultation for it to be useful. Ed Boatman explained that the consultation had been heavily publicised, including a second consultation phase when errors in the first consultation were pointed out to Transport for London by Hammersmith and Fulham Council. He believed that everybody who might have wanted to respond had been given the opportunity to do so; the results were therefore an accurate portrayal of those who felt strongly enough to answer the consultation. If residents had concerns about the consultation process which they had not already raised they could contact transport for London via their website www.tfl.gov.uk/help-and-contact or on 0343 222 1234.
A resident was concerned that there would be a significant traffic impact on smaller roads around the gyratory. Councillor Dewhirst shared these concerns noting that in their previous report there had been suggestion of delays to the south of the gyratory. Ed Boatman explained that modelling had been done which suggested that there would be some minor delay, but that there were not expected to be delays which would have a significant impact on the local road network. Unfortunately Mr Boatman did not have the figures with him to illustrate this although he explained that had there been unacceptable increases in journey times the scheme would not have been progressed. A resident asked that the modelling data for the scheme be shared with him; Ed Boatman explained that this was available on the TfL Consultation website (https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/hammersmith-gyratory-1/). The Chair suggested that if residents had specific concerns they could contact Transport for London after the meeting.
Councillor Harcourt explained that Hammersmith Grove had been expected to face some delays as a result of the scheme. The Leader of the Council and Mahmood Siddiqi had therefore worked with residents to create a scheme to mitigate the impact of this. Mahmood Siddiqi explained that as a result of conversations with residents the proposed bus lane on Beadon Road would not be installed; this would reduce the impact of the scheme. A resident asked that details of the scheme on Hammersmith Grove be made available on the council’s website. Mr Siddiqi added that modelling was not an exact science, but did identify where there were likely to be significant impacts; if the Gyratory scheme did have unexpected consequences the Council, Transport for London and residents could work together to mitigate these.
A resident said that they felt that the scheme’s benefits for sustainable transport users outweighed any delays to drivers; she said that the delays might even increase the number of people cycling as they chose not to queue in traffic. The resident also suggested that if there were concerns that local roads might be used as ‘rat runs’ they could have access to them restricted. Another resident said that they felt that there was a need to reduce the number of motor vehicles on the roads and give better facilities to other modes of transport in order to create a less congested, cleaner future.
A resident asked whether Transport for London’s modelling looked at people per hour or at vehicles, as they suspected the improvements might lead to more people being able to cross the gyratory. Ed Boatman explained that modelling was mostly based on motor vehicles, cyclists being quite hard to model, however, he agreed that the works would certainly lead to more cyclists using the gyratory.
Councillor Hamilton said that he remained concerned that only those cycling around the gyratory would have a faster journey whilst buses, cars and pedestrians would all be delayed to achieve this. Ed Boatman explained that since the reintroduction of the pedestrian crossing from Shepherds Bush Road to the Broadway Centre pedestrians would now no longer be delayed. Councillor Hamilton suggested that it would be useful if Transport for London could provide updated figures on delays following the change to the design.
John Griffiths explained that he had submitted a new proposed layout for Beadon Road. Ed Boatman explained that this had been forwarded to him and that its potential impacts would be considered.
A resident asked that the relationship between Transport for London and Hammersmith and Fulham Council be clarified. Mahmood Siddiqi explained that the Mayor of London drew up the Mayor’s Transport Plan. Councils across London then bid for money to improve their boroughs and meet the goals of this plan through their own Local Implementation Plans. He added that Hammersmith and Fulham preferred to do all improvement work on roads in the borough and so were made a contractor by Transport for London for large schemes they might have built themselves in other boroughs.
A resident suggested that the plans ought to be delayed in order to take into account the Hammersmith Town Centre Supplementary Planning Document. Councillor Dewhirst agreed that postponing the scheme’s implementation would be a good idea. Councillor Cassidy said that a good reason for inaction could always be found; he felt that the plans ought to be pressed ahead with so as to bring the benefits of the scheme to residents as soon as possible.
Councillor Hamilton asked why the taxi rank on Blacks Road had been relocated as this caused difficulties for shops trying to load and unload delivery vehicles. Ed Boatman explained that it had been moved to allow the first taxi to see the rear of the main rank outside the Broadway centre. Councillor Harcourt also noted that residents had complained about the delivery vehicles.
A resident suggested that underpasses could be used to allow pedestrians to cross the gyratory. Councillor Harcourt said that underpasses had previously been very unpopular as they needed lots of maintenance and attracted anti-social behaviour; he did not think that they should be reinstated.
A resident asked what the next steps in the process would be. The Chair explained that officers would take residents comments on board, finalise the design, and then a report would be taken to the council’s Cabinet.
At 9.05 the meeting adjourned for 15 minutes to allow those who were only interested in the cycling items to leave.