Carbon emissions from transport are now the highest of all of sectors in the UK and have increased in recent years. We believe that if the UK is to meet its carbon dioxide emission targets, it should be a priority to drastically reduce the number of cars on the roads each year and encourage a shift to sustainable modes of transport.
Having watched a film detailing the ambitious measures Oslo city centre is taking to go car free, and after hearing a presentation by Allies and Morrison, our members developed the following proposals for Ealing town centre and for consideration for the wider borough. We encourage Ealing Council to use these suggestions to lay foundations for the deeper changes that will be needed for our community to thrive.
For Around Ealing Broadway Station
- Close Haven Green’s roads to car traffic, so that Haven Green becomes a destination in its own right and can be enjoyed for play, leisure, cafes and shopping – still accessible for buses, taxis, rickshaws and cycles.
- Reclaim Haven Green’s car parks at and convert them into facilities for active travel, including bicycle hubs (bicycle repair services, lockers etc) and electric scooter parks.
- Widen the pavements around Ealing Broadway station and provide more weather protection for bus shelters and pedestrians.
- Improve accessibility to Ealing Broadway station, offer escalator or lift access to the platform.
- Provide transport facilities that emphasise walking, cycling, scooters, and other wheeled vehicles such rickshaws.
- Provide facilities for community or publicly owned Electric Vehicle (EV) travel, such as taxis, car club and car-sharing schemes, and TfLs “Dial-a-ride” scheme, to deemphasise private car ownership.
- Provide local stations, such as Ealing Broadway (but including others like West Ealing, Acton Town, Northfields, South Ealing etc) with ample access to public transport, cycle, scooter and car share or taxi amenities. Make all stations fully accessible.
- More planters and green infrastructure.
Changes For Other Streets In The Borough
- Restrict parking on one side of Gordon Road and create a bicycle lane.
- Keep Madeley Road closed to cars and create a cycleway.
- Close Bond Street and the High Street to cars, so that the Pitzhanger manor area and surrounding shops benefit from more pedestrian access, and more pleasant surroundings
- Plan for disabled parking as a priority off The High Street.
- Redesign junctions that are awkward for cyclists and pedestrians: current examples include the junction of Northfields Avenue and Uxbridge Road, the junction of Uxbridge Road/Springbridge Road/High Street, the Grove/Ealing Green.
- Prioritise pedestrians at complex roundabouts (such as the junction at the Grove & Ealing Green)
- Provide dedicated cycle highways on the carriage ways, such as Olso’s red routes where cycling is prioritised over parking and space for other road users, on routes such as Uxbridge Road, St Mary’s Road, Gordon Road etc.
- Make cycle routes level (particularly cycle routes on tow paths) and free of obstructions – particular mention was of segregated cycle routes where kerbs or other street furniture can obstruct cyclists and make their journey more dangerous or simply slower.
- Encourage cycling and cycling safety, through education, policy, positive messaging and schemes such as Dr Bike, regular Car Free days.
- More logical cycle route planning and tougher policing of road users with respect to them (both cyclists and vehicles).
- Better school bus facilities and school buses that follow a local route.
- School “Walking Bus” schemes.
- Clear no idling signage outside schools.
- Air pollution monitors on all school streets.
- Schemes to encourage older children to be more independent travelling to and from school.
- Road pricing to drive (charge higher prices around schools for non-residents to discourage use of cars during drop off and pick up times).
- Make cycling a safe option for children going to school (and for adults).
- Consider parking exclusion zones (for non residents) around schools, such as school streets.
- Increase the frequency of buses, especially those that serve residential areas (such as the E10).
- Provide buses that are easier for passengers to get on and off.
- Provide school buses that follow a local route.
- Encourage bus travel with ideas like the Bus Hopper fares.
Guidance, Education, Policy
- Charge for access to drive through Ealing (Uxbridge Road) to reduce non-local traffic (payments could be made via a parking type app on your phone).
- Deliveries to the borough by electric vehicle only – “last mile” electric distribution.
- Monthly car free days
- Provide free monthly Dr Bike Days and advertise in schools.
- Provide more clarity on laws relating to use of electric scooters on the roads and pavements.
- All decisions to be better publicised and explained, particularly with an emphasis on the perceived benefits, such as better air quality, more green space, possibilities for play.
- Tougher policing of inconsiderate drivers and cyclists, including drivers on mobile phones, drivers in cycle lanes, or junction boxes, cyclists travelling at unsafe speeds in parks or on the pavement.
- Enforced penalties for car idling.
- Clearly articulate why we need to deprioritise car use.
- Public information advertisements aimed at car users pointing out more sustainable alternatives, such as a countdown at traffic lights pointing out that the train journey from Southall to Ealing Broadway now takes 4 minutes.
- Petrol stations to be converted to electric charging areas.
- Provide more charging points for EVs outside homes and allow these to be loaned to others.
Green space and Local Character
- More planters and planting spaces on the borough’s streets.
- Mini gardens around every tree.
- Rewild larger areas of the borough’s parks, including Ealing Common and Walpole Park.
- Maintain the current Perceval House (rather than knocking it down) for apartments and offer these to local residents and families rather than developers or investors. Stop building tower blocks.
The roll-out of Electric Vehicles is welcomed, though there are still questions about the effect of such vehicles on the environment, particularly emission of PM2.5 and PM10 particulate matter, and the consumption of resources needed for production of electric vehicle batteries. Although Electric Vehicles are expected to be part of the future of transport solutions, private ownership at today’s levels for regular cars is unlikely to be sustainable.
Reduction of the number of cars on the roads should be made in tandem with offering tangible benefits to the community, including better cycling and public transport options, improved air quality, better health due to increased activity, and more pleasant streets.
Ambitious improvements to the borough’s streets could see Ealing Town Centre’s pavements, streets and open spaces transformed into destinations to enjoy and spend time in, rather than merely as locations to pass through. We were encouraged that our speaker from Allies and Morrison advised that customers numbers for business on pedestrianised streets can increase by up to 40%
Private vehicles will remain useful and some members of the community will still have a need to drive, or at least access to transport. We would like to see such needs met by other means where possible, such as car sharing schemes, improved public transport, and less conventional but just as useful means of wheeled transport, like cargo bicycles, rickshaws and electric scooters.