Hayes & Harlington Gazette
Clean air roll-out aims to put the brakes on rat-run drivers
PLAN FOR OUT-OF-TOWN DRIVERS TO BE FINED FOR SHORTCUTS THROUGH BOROUGH
VISITORS who drive along backroads in Hammersmith and Fulham could be fined if plans for the expansion of the clean air neighbourhoods programme are rolled out.
At a meeting of Hammersmith and Fulham Council on Thursday last week, members discussed the move to penalise out-of-town drivers who drive through “rat-run” roads in the clean air zone.
The council has announced it hopes to introduce more schemes similar to the one in place in South Fulham which fines out-of-borough drivers up to £130 if they try to take shortcuts through small streets between Wandsworth Bridge Road and New King’s Road.
Councillor Sharon Holder told the meeting that the authority is talking to residents in different areas of the borough about how it could bring in similar schemes – but she was not able to confirm when work will start in particular neighbourhoods.
She said: “We will explore all possible steps to ensure all residents benefit from the clean air neighbourhood programme.
“There is a programme and we plan to roll things out consistently throughout the council in collaboration with the residents. If they want us to do it, more importantly, it is our objective.
“We have had preliminary discussions with residents in different parts of the borough and we have an outline timetable.”
The council is also speaking to schools to see if they would benefit from having similar measures outside their gates. It also plans to repurpose road space for cycling and walking. Bus priority lanes and new trees and green areas could all be introduced.
Cllr Holder added: “Community-based events will also be introduced, such as play streets and street theatre, to enable a thriving cafe-style culture and encourage more sustainable living.
“We will continue to introduce further projects on our main roads across the borough with the purpose of walking and cycling.”
The meeting also heard that residents are enjoying the new clean air measures in South Fulham.
Hurlingham Academy governor Andrew Pendleton told the council: “It seems to me in the last couple of weeks it has been extremely successful. It has visibly reduced traffic on the roads. It is safer and cleaner for children.”
Friends, family, carers, delivery drivers and tradespeople can still reach every street in the Clean Air Neighbourhood without going through the cameras, according to the council. Residents in the area are not fined for driving there and visitors can still reach every street in the borough by taking alternative routes on larger roads.
A south Fulham resident who lives in the clean air neighbourhood said: “It is fantastic all the cars that are not on either side of the road now, but Wandsworth Bridge Road is totally and utterly chocka and it is at standstill throughout the day. The pollution is terrible.”
The council said it was not able to say when it will start introducing clean air neighbourhoods as it is still in talks with residents.