An interesting enquiry from a local resident recently:
“Askew Road is increasingly becoming a very neighbourly shopping centre. Unfortunately it is also a major thoroughfare for traffic traveling north to south and vise versa wanting to avoid Shepherd’s Bush. Relaxing parking rules on the high street would relieve parking congestion on the side streets, boost business and calm traffic speeds. In all create a calmer neighbourhood. Just a thought. In essence prioritise pedestrians above increasing traffic flow. In my mind any effort to reduce traffic flow rather than increase it has a positive effect on communities. Goldhawk Road has been killed by the central reservation where as Uxbridge Road has flourished without it. Reduce traffic speed enhance communities.”
“I agree with you about relaxing the parking rules on Askew Road to help the businesses. I remember about ten years ago we got more parking spaces there which helped a little.”
Then I asked the Council for their response adding:
I see the “period of grace” for someone parked on a yellow line is 20 minutes if loading and unloading. Does this also apply if they are shopping
The Council’s Parking Projects Engineer replies:
“Thank you for your email concerning loading and unloading around the Askew Road area.
As you acknowledged in your previous email, we provided short stay shopper parking bays on Askew Road back in 2009. The purpose of these pay & display bays was that they would serve as a ‘stop and shop’ facility for short term visitors.
The tariff of 20 pence per half hour, which was the first of its kind in Hammersmith & Fulham encourages turnover and maximises availability. The pay & display bays operate outside of the peak commuting hours, so between 9am and 5pm motorists may park for a maximum stay of 30 minutes at a tariff of 20 pence. The short stay bays have proved beneficial for both traders and their visitors and I am pleased to report that since August 2009 occupancy of the bays has remained consistently high.
Loading and unloading
Askew Road is considered as a key north/south corridor in the borough and during peak commuter hours experiences high volumes of traffic. To address congestion issues which can often be exacerbated by large goods vehicles loading and unloading on Askew Road, the Council installed goods vehicles loading only bays in the side streets off Askew Road. This approach coupled with the stop and shop parking facilities has improved vehicular accessibility in the area.
Vehicles are allowed to load/unload for up to 20 minutes where there is only a single or double yellow line restriction with no loading restrictions. Vehicles are then observed for 5 minutes. If no active loading/unloading is taking place, the vehicle is liable to receive a PCN. Where a loading restriction is in place, loading/unloading is not allowed and PCN’s can be issued immediately.
Loading restrictions are demarcated by yellow kerbside blips and signs which state the duration of the loading restriction. We have provided designated loading only bays in the side streets off Askew Road including Hadyn Park Road, Cobbold Road, Gayford Road and Bassein Park Road. These bays are intended for loading only, shoppers are encouraged to use the ‘stop and shop’ bays on Askew Road as described above.
More information is available on the councils website – https://www.lbhf.gov.uk/sites/default/files/section_attachments/hf_parking_enforcement_protocol.pdf”
What do you think?
It is a myth that providing more short term car parking improves business for shops – there is no evidence this is the case. Research in London found that people walking, cycling or using public transport spend more *per month* than people driving to the shops.
If this isn’t believed, then I’d suggest some objective research – survey shoppers in Askew Rd to find out how they got there and what would encourage them to visit more often and stay longer.
However being a “key north south corridor” for motor traffic is fundamentally contrary to being a pleasant street where people will want to visit and linger. It can be a “key corridor” or a pleasant street but I don’t think it can be both.
What about trying “car free days” or evenings? (maybe still permitting the bus route). If North End Rd and King St can do this, why not Askew Rd?
There may be some further inspiration from this article about the revival of a street in York.
Reduce[d] traffic speed enhance communities
This is the same textbook political correctness as H&F Council tried when it was pushing 20mph for the borough in its very biased consultation. As someone who drives regularly on Askew Rd, it is hardly possible to reduce traffic speed any further, which implies that the unnamed proposer has a political axe to grind.
Ironically, commenter O’Riordan should note that York voters kicked out councillor Anna Semlyen, one of the loudest proponents of 20mph everywhere, regardless of need.
The new council was reported as looking at how the indiscriminate 20mph limit could be removed and that is something that H&F should be doing. Apart from at the speed camera just north of Askew Road, nobody seems to voluntarily comply with the unneeded limit, and even then, they just speed up when they’re past the camera. Offiicially the money for our 20mph might have come from TfL, but it depleted GLA group funds and contributed towards a 5.1% rise in the GLA precept on our council tax demand. Perhaps ‘Steve’ could use the next council propaganda initiative to come clean with residents why reducing council tax faster than the Conservatives was a promise never intended to be kept, and like much else with glossy packaging, is pure gesture politics aiming to impress?
I agree that the 20mph limit has been over implemented and seems part of a class war anti-car agenda. Driving down Old Oak Road at the speed of a funeral cortege is utterly ridiculous.
In Labour’s socialist utopia all will walk or use the (state-owned) bus. A lucky few will have their own bicycles, though even this is frowned by some on as selfish and status-seeking.