Further Traffic Restrictions Planned Around Wandsworth Bridge Road

Council wants to make whole of South Fulham a Clear Air Neighbourhood

Council says traffic has fallen by 23% in South Fulham since earlier measures introduced
Council says traffic has fallen by 23% in South Fulham since earlier measures introduced

Hammersmith and Fulham Council is set to trial more traffic restrictions in the Wandsworth Bridge Road area after claiming success for existing measures in South Fulham.

It will be part of a broader programme of Clean Air Neighbourhood schemes launched across the borough which will include tree planting, traffic reduction trials, sustainable drainage schemes, school streets initiatives and improved infrastructure for walking and cycling.

The council says that the restrictions imposed over the last two years user smart technology have made South Fulham roads quieter and safer for pedestrians and cyclists as well as reducing pollution in the area.

There are now 8,000 fewer cars a day in the area representing a 23% reduction in traffic.

The council says it has been approached by residents in the streets to the west of Wandsworth Bridge Road about extending restrictions to their area. Work has already begun on designating the whole of South Fulham a Clean Air Neighbourhood. This will mean new traffic calming and safety measures on Wandsworth Bridge Road and require ANPR cameras to be place in streets to the west of the road to discourage out-of-borough drivers from using them as a shortcut.

A trial is due to start shortly which will run for between six and 18 months as required by law.

H&F residents with vehicles registered in the borough will be able to go through the cameras without penalty. They’ll also be able to give unlimited visitors free access through RingGo.

Speaking at the borough Cabinet meeting which considered the proposals, Wandsworth Bridge Road resident Natalie Lindsay said, “I personally have developed asthma over the last five years, which I've been told is specifically because of air pollution in London. It is great to see that the council is now taking this very seriously through the Clean Air Neighbourhoods programme

“Residents are taking back control of their air,” said Cllr Holder. “Their streets are no longer full of out-of-borough drivers using them as a cut-through rather than to visit south Fulham residents or shop locally.”

“The air on our streets needs to be cleaner. Polluted air makes people ill – especially children. It can be a killer,” said Cllr Sharon Holder, H&F Cabinet Member for Public Realm. “So we’re pioneering a Clean Air Neighbourhood programme to do something about it.”

Teodoro Catino of Il Pagliaccio is one of a number of local business people in the area who disputes the council's claims that the scheme has improved air quality in the area and say the measures have caused extra hardship at a difficult time. He said, "The South Fulham traffic camera scheme has created congestion, pollution and havoc on Wandsworth Bridge Road and on the side streets to the west side. Traffic has been displaced while the industrial-sized Imperial Road lies empty.

"Hammersmith and Fulham council (LBHF) have created a segregated area in south Fulham, where non-residents are not welcome; businesses have lost customers and women are frequently forced to walk home alone after dark. Cabinet has now approved a new scheme in the west and 10 more LTNs across the whole borough. In doing so, it is not conducting a proper, democratic consultation because it knows the plan is unpopular. Instead, it is engaging with a minority pressure groups in favour of the scheme."

Dr Nicola Lang, H&F’s Director of Public Health, said, “Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK. Long term exposure to man-made air pollution in the UK is estimated to cause 28,000-36,000 deaths every year. That is equivalent to around 87 deaths in our borough.”

“Air pollution can affect both children and adults. It can lead to a variety of health problems, including heart disease, lung cancer, brain damage and – for older people – the risk of developing dementia. This bold new programme is great news for H&F.” Dr. Lang added.

The council says that nearly one in seven early deaths in the borough are attributable to nitrogen oxide air pollution which is the eighth highest level in London according to King’s College London. A further 8.1 per cent of early deaths per year are attributed to small particulate matter.

H&F Council’s 2022 air quality report shows that local levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) exceeded the annual average national limits of 40 µg/m3 and World Health Organisation Air Quality Standards of 10 µg/m3 last year.

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October 17, 2022