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?

Richard Owen: Architectural Acne in W12

A guest post from Richard Owen

askewI cycle daily to work in Park Royal along Askew Road. A substantial number of new street trees have just been planted and it is an increasingly pleasing area.

The northern half of Askew Road is lined by handsome Victorian terraces and semi-detached villas, though unfortunately many of them have lost key original features and have the careworn shabbiness still all too common in many parts of London.

Also, because the street isn’t in a conservation area, it is badly afflicted by what someone once memorably called the ‘architectural acne’  of highly prominent satellite dishes on frontages.

Shepherds Bush Housing Association is a major landowner in Askew Road, and is currently undertaking works on quite a few houses there. Dozens of satellite dishes have been painstakingly detached from brickwork and fastened to scaffolding. As works come to completion, these dishes are then re-attached to the front wall, so they can continue to blight one of Shepherds Bush’s most important roads for years to come.

This seems like a massive missed opportunity to make our  borough more beautiful. Relocating satellite dishes out of sight onto a roof or chimney stack is a piece of cake when you have scaffolding up and skilled tradespeople on site. It costs essentially no more than the current practice of detaching and re-attaching to the same place.

I would implore all social landlords within Hammersmith and Fulham, as well as the council, to ‘bake in’ this practice to their building maintenance guidelines. Over a 5-10 year period, literally hundreds of toxically visible satellite dishes could be put out of harm’s way forever.