Petition for traffic calming is rejected
Speed not considered a problem for Swan Road
WEST DRAYTON residents hoping to make their street safer have had a 350-strong petition rejected.
Residents calling for traffic calming measures and pedestrian crossings on Swan Road, were granted a hearing on January 20 with Hillingdon’s cabinet member for transport, Councillor Keith Burrows.
The petition was supported by West Drayton’s two Labour councillors, Janet Duncan and Jan Sweeting, but the ward’s Conservative member, Cllr Dominic Gilham persuaded Cllr Burrows to reject it.
Swan Road resident and lead petitioner, Vladimir Matveev, was left fuming. He said: “We waited for eight months for this hearing and it’s outrageous that one person, who doesn’t even live on our road, can veto our initiative.
“We have both accidents and near misses all the time. There were two deaths, and a head on collision with a bus which is on a blind corner.
“We don’t have anywhere on Swan Road to cross safely, despite the fact there are bus stops, a care home and a school nearby.”
Mr Matveev had an earlier request for a 20mph limit in Swan Road refused in March 2015 and has accused Tory-run Hillingdon Council of “playing party politics”.
This was rejected by Cllr Gilham, who is also his party’s candidate for the Hillingdon seat at this May’s Greater London Assembly elections, because he said the evidence showed the 85 percentile speed of Swan Road was 28mph.
He added: “The council has had independent surveys taken on Swan Road and they’ve shown that the speed is going down, year on year.
“If this was a petition that affected other roads as well such as The Green and other bits that lead off Swan Road, then it’s a different discussion.”
Cllr Gilham has requested surveys to be carried out on The Green and Mill Road, as he believes the problem lies with drivers accelerating there, and this was not mentioned in the petition.
He said: “Swan Road has a speed table already, it has some parking bays that calm the traffic as well as a natural curve to it which slows traffic. So it should be a good road – There hasn’t been a high proportion of accidents there.
“I’m always working with residents, they petitioned for a parking scheme and I petitioned with them.”
Labour’s Cllr Duncan vowed to continue raising awareness of the issues in Swan Road and said there is a minority who speed along the road late at night.
She said cars are bumped, lose wing mirrors, and screeching brakes can be heard on a “daily basis”.
Cllr Duncan added: “We put in the second petition as it’s an issue of safety. Cllr Gilham said there was no issue with Swan Road, but with Mill Road and The Green, but all the accidents are on Swan Road.
“People are trying to flag things up, but the police won’t record anything unless there’s personal injury. There’s been deaths and we don’t want more.”
In 2005, two teenagers died in a car crash outside the church, while in November 2014 a bus crashed head-on with an oncoming van in the same spot.