How can we boost small businesses on Askew Road?

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 replied:

“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

https://www.lbhf.gov.uk/parking/pay-and-display/loading-and-unloading

The Council’s Parking Projects Engineer replies:

“Thank you for your email concerning loading and unloading around the Askew Road area.

Shopper parking

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?

Zebra loses its stripes

The zebra crossing outside the Duchess of Cambridge pub on the junction of Goldhawk Road and Stamford Brook Road is pretty badly faded, isn’t it?

I have raised the matter with the Council.

The Council’s Street Lighting & Signs Manager responds:

“Thank you for your observations relating to road markings on various zebra crossings at the junction of Goldhawk Road and Stamford Brook Road.

We have further inspected and will also re-mark the zebra crossing on Goldhawk Road at the entrance to Ravenscourt Park. The relevant order has been raised and these works should be completed within the next 28 working days.

Please do not hesitate to contact us, with further line marking maintenance requests in the future.”

Good news!

 

Alley by Ravenscourt Park tube to be repaired

The alley which runs between Ravenscourt Place and Dalling Road is an important route to Ravenscourt Park tube station. But it is in poor condition. It is not part of the public highway but is the responsibility of Transport for London.

I asked our London Assembly member Tony Devenish to pursue the matter and he has been sent the following positive response from TfL:

“Our maintenance team have looked into this and intend to carry out minor repairs to the surface of the footpath and install measures to deter motor cycles.  Work is scheduled for completion by early summer.”

Hurrah!

Uncertainty over Hammersmith Bridge refurbishment

I have written before about the controversial question of what colour Hammersmith Bridge should be painted.

The work is due to take place this year but the colour – and other matters – have yet to be resolved.

Tom Ryland, Chairman of the Hammersmith Society says:

“We have been pressing the Council – so far unsuccessfully – for us to be involved in decisions regarding the refurbishment of the bridge which is due to take place later this year. As you will all be aware, the bridge is in need of strengthening so that it can support the weight of double decker buses and some lorries. This a joint project between Transport for London and the Council who have responsibility for the maintenance of the bridge. Several short term closures have been necessary for temporary works and we understand further closures are necessary to allow detail survey work to be carried out. There still does not seem to be a formal programme for the main works. For obvious reasons we do not expect to be involved in the technical detail and our main interest is in the lighting and redecoration. Since the last lighting upgrade for which the Hammersmith Society gave its Environment Award in 2000 for the ‘blades of light’ created on each side of the bridge, lighting technology has moved on in leaps and bounds so that the individual incandescent bulbs will almost certainly be replaced by strips of modern LEDs. In the same refurbishment, the bridge was repainted in the olive green – often described as ‘Harrods Green’ as this was found by research to be closest to Joseph Bazelgette’s original colour scheme. Does this mean that the bridge must always be this colour which is not universally liked? After all Bazelgette was an engineer not an architect. Apart from the green colour fading quite badly – looking awful when patched – it now merges with the green tint of the new Queen’s Wharf/Riverside Studios buildings so that the bridge, when viewed from up river, is all but lost. The bridge has had other colour schemes in its history and we suggest that the colour scheme should be re-visited so that the bridge can rightly be seen and appreciated in all its glory.”

TfL must replace the missing tiles on the A4 underpass by Black Lion Lane

Tony Devenish, our member of the London Assembly, has agreed to press Transport for London to replace the missing tiles on the A4 underpass which connects Black Lion Lane with South Black Lion Lane.

This is after I passed on to him the exasperation of residents over the delays in this pretty basic and straightforward piece of maintenance.

Let’s hope his intervention prompts them to get on with the work.

Cracked paving stones in Dalling Road

Uneven or wobbly paving stones can be a safety hazard especially for the elderly. Various of you have mentioned that you have noticed a deterioration in standards regarding the pavements locally. Point noted. But it would be very helpful if you could send me any specific details of defective paving stones (ideally with a photograph) and I will pursue.

The example pictured above is from Dalling Road. I have asked the Council’s Highways Department for their comments…

Ugly new street lighting preventing residents getting to sleep

The Council has been “rolling out” ugly new street lights – rather in the style of floodlights used on football pitches. It is excellent that there is switch to LED lighting – they use only half the energy and thus save the Council money as well as helping the environment. But there is no reason why the design of street lighting for them has to be so hideous. LED lighting could being used in a traditional lamp post.

Another difficulty is that the new lighting has been too bright – in some cases (such as Rylett Road) making it harder for people to get to sleep. “We are able to address problems of light leakage into residents’ homes where this occurs, if residents notify us of this,” the Council tells me. But getting this achieved in practice is proving a slow job. Absurd as if excessive brightness is avoided this means the financial and environmental benefits would be greater.

All this has been done without consultation – yet again making a mockery of the Council’s mantra about doing things “with people not too people”. I have asked for a schedule of when the new lights are being brought in to each street.

I have written previously about the Council refusal to allow residents to switch form the ugly, modernist “tooth brush” lamp posts to the traditional lanterns. The was something that was allowed for Black Lion Lane and St Peter’s Square when the Council was Conservative-run but others are being prevented from following the example.

The toothbrush lamp posts are ugly enough. Not content with blocking residents from adopting a more attractive alternative the Council is imposing replacements that look even worse.

Let’s bring in LED lighting but at the same time let’s have lamp post designs that make the borough more beautiful rather than  more ugly.