Update on SW6 traffic reduction plan

We’ve worked with residents to refine our plans for reducing traffic in the SW6 area once the coronavirus crisis is over.

In recent weeks, the council has been working closely with the SW6 Traffic Working Party to address challenges thrown up by the experimental closure of Harwood Terrace, as well as long-standing traffic issues in the SW6 traffic area.

We are now proposing a new experimental scheme. This a refinement of the plan we proposed at the beginning of March, and we are grateful to residents on the SW6 Traffic Working Party for working with us to improve the proposal.

We realise we didn’t engage effectively with residents around the Harwood Terrace experiment. We’re sorry about that and we’ve learnt lessons. We’ve discussed the new scheme extensively with residents – and we’ll take the same approach when we implement it after the current crisis.

The scheme will not be introduced until the coronavirus crisis is over as we are able to undertake only essential works at the moment, and we cannot source all the necessary equipment as our providers have suspended operations.

The new scheme

The new experimental scheme puts Hammersmith & Fulham residents first. Its key points are:

  • Non-H&F residents will be no longer be able to cut into residential streets to the east of Wandsworth Bridge Road and then exit through Harwood Terrace or the Bagleys Lane junction
  • Non-H&F residents will not be able to cut through the east of Wandsworth Bridge Road and use Stephendale Road, Hazlebury Road or Broughton Road in order to bypass queues and rejoin Wandsworth Bridge Road
  • We will monitor rat running and through traffic to the west of Wandsworth Bridge Road
  • Traffic in the SW6 area will be considerably lower than BEFORE the experimental closure of Harwood Terrace
  • Buses on Bagleys Lane will be able to run better than ever
  • Noise, air pollution and carbon emissions will decrease in line with the council’s climate emergency strategy.

The scheme will introduce traffic restrictions for non-residents, using “no access” points. This will be enforced using smart camera technology that reads and recognises vehicle number plates. 

Non-residents will still be able to access the whole area without going through a control point, but the scheme will discourage them from using the area as a quick cut through. Resident and key “permitted vehicles” will be able to pass through control points and move around the area without obstacle.

Before the scheme is introduced, which is likely to be some months off, we will work further with residents to confirm the permitted vehicles, looking at buses, taxis, visitors, emergency services, refuse trucks, deliveries and so on.

Our aim here is to reduce significantly the through traffic east of Wandsworth Bridge Road, including through Harwood Terrace, and improve bus journey times at the Bagleys Lane junction. The expectation is that traffic previously able to cut through to New Kings Road will be eliminated. 

Access restrictions will be introduced at the short triangular cross-section between Imperial Road, Bagleys Lane and Harwood Terrace.  Five smart cameras will enforce this at Harwood Terrace (Westbound), Bagleys Lane near the junction of Imperial Road (Northbound), Bagleys Lane near the junction of Imperial Road (Southbound), Imperial Road (Northbound) and Imperial Road (Southbound). Numerous warning signs will be installed across the area to signal the changes.

Traffic flows will be measured before and after the scheme and the findings and possible adjustments discussed with residents.

Imperial Road southbound

The scheme includes a southbound restriction on Imperial Road. This is felt necessary in order to address the problems of evening traffic travelling southbound and queuing at the Townmead Road/Wandsworth Bridge Road junction, and of traffic trying to get round queuing vehicles on Townmead Road by diverting through Stephendale Road in order to join Wandsworth Bridge Road. The southbound restriction will also support the aim of reducing total traffic volumes in the area.

Residents will be unaffected by the access restriction and can drive through all control points.  All areas such as the Sainsbury’s supermarket and Harbour Club will remain accessible for non-residents by using Townmead Road.

Stephendale Road, Hazlebury Road and Broughton Road

The problem of rat running through Stephendale Road, Broughton Road and Hazlebury Road existed before the experimental scheme on Harwood Terrace.  Although the Harwood Terrace experiment did not increase total traffic across the SW6 area, 25% of traffic that had previously used the terrace instead used the Bagleys Lane junction, which then had an impact on these residential streets.

The access restrictions at Bagleys Lane will mean that out-of-borough traffic will no longer be able to drive through Stephendale Road or any side roads to exit via the Bagleys Lane junction. As a result, total traffic through Stephendale Road, Hazlebury Road and Broughton Road is expected to reduce to levels lower than before the experimental closure of Harwood Terrace.

We do not expect traffic to be more likely to drive into these roads just to rejoin queueing traffic on Wandsworth Bridge Road at busy times as this would hardly improve journey times.

However, we will tackle the possibility of this happening by introducing additional control points on Hazlebury Road and Broughton Road, enforced by smart camera technology.

Area west of Wandsworth Bridge Road, including Perrymead Street and Studdridge Street

Our aim here is to reduce the rat running and through traffic from which this area has suffered for many years. We do not expect the above measures to push traffic to the western side of Wandsworth Bridge Road, which saw a net reduction in traffic after the Harwood Terrace experimental closure.

However, the out-of-borough traffic in this area has been a problem for a long time and needs to be addressed on its own merit. We will therefore install a camera to monitor traffic in this area. The aim is then to consider how rat running and through traffic in the area can also be addressed, including through controlled access.

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