Steve Norris joins Save Ealing Streets in Acton

Group protests against possible closure of High Street


An artist's impression of the tram

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Contact details of key figures:
Tim Jones, Project Director, West London Tram Project, 3rd Floor South Wing, Parnell House, 25 Wilton Road, London SW1V 1LW (email:

Councillors John Cudmore (leader) and Stephen Sears (responsible for transport) - both at Ealing Town Hall, New Broadway, Ealing W5 2BY (emails and


Save Ealing Streets asked residents to join them outside the main entrance of Safeways this Saturday to publicise and protest against the proposed closure of Acton High Street to make way for the tram.

They handed out leaflets outside Safeways, and Steve Norris (the Conservative candidate for Mayor of London in the forthcoming mayoral elections) joined them as part of his tour of Acton to meet residents' groups who are concerned about the tram scheme and to discuss alternative solutions which do not involve closing Acton High Street.

The group described the turnout for a previous demonstrations in January and February as "excellent". They have had a series of meetings with TfL which focussed mainly on the pinchpoints and the environmental impact statement. They have also discussed the forthcoming consultation and the timetable. Although TfL have increased the number of people working on the project, Save Ealing Streets still believe that there is a big question mark whether it will receive government funding.

A spokesperson for the group said, "Although TfL are close to finalising the scheme, it seems that there is still some fluidity in the pinchpoint proposals. Having released their provisional details, TfL are keenly watching how people react - so we urge you to write to help influence the final choices they make for each pinchpoint."

TfL's preferred option in Acton is closure between Steyne Road and Market Place with eastbound traffic being routed up Steyne Road and then either up to Horn Lane and onto A40, or possibly back to the Uxbridge Road via Market Place. Westbound traffic is likely to be routed via Crown Street and Mill Hill Road, and then back up to the Uxbridge Road via Gunnersbury Lane.

Bill Davidson, who co-ordinates the Acton Alliance, called a meeting of Acton residents' groups to take soundings shortly before Save Ealing Streets met TfL to discuss the pinchpoints. According to a spokesperson for the group there was near unanimity among the dozen or so representatives that if the tram goes ahead, there should be selective demolition at this stretch to make it possible for the tram and traffic to share.

Save Ealing Streets have stressed this to TfL and argued that failing that, the tram and traffic must be allowed to share the roadspace on the Uxbridge Road, especially in the eastbound direction where the current plan would not only route Uxbridge Road traffic down a residential road (Mill Hill Rd), it could also cause chaos at the Gunnersbury Lane/Uxbridge Road junction (a key north/south crossing point which is already heavily congested).

They also made it clear that forcing westbound traffic up to the A40 would cause considerable problems in their opinion, including a huge detour for local people, and argued that there must be a route back onto Acton High Street rather than all traffic being forced up to the A40.

Consultation with local groups for the tram scheme will end in March with the TfL board to be asked to endorse the scheme at that time. Opinion polls will be taken with detailed consultation on traffic management being undertaken by Ealing Council. Assuming Ken Livingstone wins the Mayoral election in June the public consultation will proceed. The following year there would be a public enquiry into the project's viability.

February 23, 2004