Pe­ti­tion for traf­fic calm­ing is re­jected

Speed not con­sid­ered a prob­lem for Swan Road

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Kather­ine Cle­men­tine

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.

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