This item will be a discussion between members, officers and residents about the concerns relating to the closure of Harwood Terrace.
Councillor Ben Coleman (Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care) introduced the item and discussed the reasons for holding a public meeting on the closure of Harwood Terrace. He recognised there were strong feelings from residents on this issue and said the Council wanted to listen and understand how residents were being affected and hoped that the Council could work together with residents on a solution.
Masum Choudhury (Head of Transport Policy) gave a presentation setting out the context for the Harwood Terrace experimental closure, the reasons for the closure, and the data that informed the decision. Residents asked that the slides be shared after the meeting.
ACTION: David Abbott
NOTE: The slides are available on the Council’s website: Harwood Terrace presentation
Residents challenged the quality of some of the data in the presentation and requested:
· Comparable data from before the closure to benchmark against.
· The figures for all surrounding streets.
· A list of local roads that had traffic surveys and the traffic survey data.
· Any environmental studies that had been done on the impact of the closure on surrounding streets. Though Masum Choudhury noted that no air quality or environmental studies had been commissioned.
ACTION: Masum Choudhury
Masum Choudhury continued with the presentation and went through a number of potential options that would help resolve the issues felt by residents. These were split into ‘area-based options’ and ‘micro options’. It was noted that these were not the only options available and were intended to stimulate discussion.
The area-based options were:
· Area-Based Option 1 – Harwood Terrace remained closed but further mitigations were put in place including preventing right turns from Wandsworth Bridge Road northbound into Cresford Road, Bovingdon Road, Sandilands Road, Broughton Road Approach, Rosebury Road, and Stephendale Road – and no left turns from Townmead Road into Bagleys Lane.
· Area-Based Option 2 – Reopen Harwood Terrace but put in measures to reduce traffic in surrounding streets used to access Harwood terrace (e.g. make accessible to residents only).
The micro options were:
· Micro Option 1 - Harwood Terrace remained closed with mitigation measures to reduce traffic queuing at traffic signals.
· Micro Option 2 – Reopen Harwood Terrace with restrictions (e.g. one-way, restrict to peak times).
· Micro Option 3 – Reopen Harwood Terrace and revisit after the Gas Works development access road opens.
Officers noted that all of the options presented had challenges associated with them.
A number of residents wanted the Council to take a broader, more ‘holistic’ look at the issue of traffic in the borough. Residents made the point that making decisions about individual roads in isolation would inevitably have knock-on effects on neighbouring roads. Some residents felt there needed to be a clear overall direction set by the Council – did the Council want to stop cars using the borough as a cut-through to other parts of London entirely? Or did the Council want cars to be able to move through the borough as quickly as possible? What were the long-term goals?
Residents suggested a number of potential solutions:
· Opening Chelsea Harbour to local residents.
· Opening the Imperial Wharf barrier.
· Building a new road as part of the new Gas Works development, going from Imperial around the back by the Rose pub (it was noted that this was already happening with Michael Road).
· Having special permits and a technology solution that only allowed residents into certain roads.
· Making Harwood Terrace a one-way road.
· Re-routing the Number 11 bus along Fulham Road, preventing it blocking traffic when turning right at the junction New Kings Road.
Councillor Ben Coleman suggested that an intervention from Greg Hands MP, Member for Chelsea and Fulham, would be required to support the route through Chelsea Harbour.
Councillor Ben Coleman proposed that residents formed a working group to work with the Council to come up with an initial solution by the next Cabinet meeting in March. This was agreed and several residents volunteered for the group. Officers would contact potential working-group members shortly after the meeting to progress the working groups.
ACTION: Sharon Lea