Monday 4 December 2017 Following our trip to Bonnington Square we headed over to City Hall where we’d been invited to a ‘Hostile Streets’ event, reporting on a series of visits to Outer London junctions. Host Caroline Russell, London Assembly Member, stated that ‘one of the most extreme cases was in Brentford’ where she was stuck in the middle of fast-flowing traffic, with children who use the crossing on a daily basis for school. We asked if traffic on the A4 could be reduced to 30mph to help improve air quality and to improve safety through the residential area. The report lists decreasing traffic speed as one possible measure in improving such roads and this is now in the hands of TfL to consider. John Dales, from Urban Movement and a trustee of Living Streets, chaired the meeting and being local, is also keen to improve conditions on the A4. Dr Rachel Aldred, a Reader in Transport at the University of Westminster, had been looking at the risk factors involved. Lucy Saunders, from TfL said that their approach was to create ‘Healthy Streets’ which has an impact on all people. The Hostile Streets report can be read here – Brentford made it on to the front cover…..
8 December 2017
Referring to p27 of the AQAP, see Figure 10, we are bemused that Brentford is not included as one of TfL’s 187 Focus Areas for air quality across London, within the M4/A4 Corridor, for air quality across London. Continue reading
Bonnington Square is an inspiration. Just seconds from the busy main roads around Vauxhall station stands a community-lead garden which spills out with infectious abundance on to the surrounding roads. Every opportunity to plant under trees has been taken, road corners transformed in to islands with palm trees and lush green planting. The results of this effort is a haven away from the urban traffic just at the end of the street. The plants naturally help to clean the air by trapping sticky particulates and converting CO2 to O2 for our benefit. It’s a beautiful, tranquil environment which make you want to be outside. Some tips perhaps for making Brentford a greener place to live…
Friday 1 Sept 2017 Caroline Russell came to Brentford with colleagues from the GLA and representatives from TfL to meet with local residents. The aim was to look at the A4 in particular as part of a study for the transport committee for Greater London, asking ‘what makes it difficult for people to walk or cycle to work?’. The major crossings at Windmill Road, Ealing Road and Lionel Road were looked at, with special attention given to children getting to school.
The results from the walk will contribute to a wider study on major roads in Greater London and we hope to see some improvements on the A4 crossings over the coming months.
Thurs 17 August Living Streets held a walk of the streets around the Museum of London as a demonstration of ‘psychogeography’, how we feel in a place, do we feel safe, is it an environment you want to be in?
Up on the high-rise walkway with space dedicated to pedestrians it was easy to feel safe and distant from the traffic below. We were asked to take note of how we felt when the open walkway became enclosed with no outlook. The way-finding signs for the Barbican were well placed on the high rise section above the street so that people could find where they were going. Continue reading
Thursday 3 August 2017 Air Quality Brentford met with JCDecaux, TfL and Hounslow Council at the Outdoor Advertising Company’s prestigious Art Deco offices on the Golden Mile. We discussed the possibility of using their advertising space in downtime to raise awareness of the unnecessary pollution caused by idling cars. JCDecaux already use standard stop-start technology on their vehicle fleet and train their drivers to switch off their engines when at a standstill for vehicles without this technology, both for environmental and economic benefit. They have 4 electric vehicles which they plan to increase by a further 6 in the coming year. Continue reading
4-7 May 2017 Several of us went along to the London Motor Show in Battersea Park to check out the alternatives to diesel and petrol vehicles. Many thanks to Neal Romanek for putting together this article about the event with reviews of the BMW 3i, Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Ionic and Tesla’s Model X:
The London Car Show boasted over 150 cars on display, from a classic 1930’s Napier-Railton racing car to the London debut of the McLaren 650S supercar. There were talks, Q&A’s and book signings with guests like Hollywood stunt driver and former Top Gear “Stig”, Ben Collins, and racing driver, TV personality and fashion model Jodie Kidd. Glamour is essential in selling us things that are bad for us and car advertising is no different. It’s been said that the automobile really only exists as a way to sell petrol. That all the stuff we love our cars for is secondary to its purpose as a device for consuming fossil fuels. But amid the selfie’s taken alongside the petrol powered muscle cars, low-emission and electric vehicles had surprisingly high visibility. Continue reading