Avonmore Residents Win 30 Year Battle to Seal Off Rat Run

Emergency gate installed at end of Bishop Kings Road stops drivers taking short cuts

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Avonmore residents are celebrating the end of a 30 year battle to stop 'rat running' at the North End Road, Hammersmith Road traffic lights in West Kensington.

For years, impatient drivers have used Bishop Kings Road and Earsby Street as a way of avoiding queues at this junction.

Accompanied by shouted abuse and often physical confrontation, numerous minor collisions and damage to parked cars occurred as drivers attempted to squeeze past each other in the narrow street.

Worse, drivers recklessly cutting the corner into Bishop Kings Road have been involved in dozens of collisions over the years and a number of serious injuries to pedestrians.

Following representations from the Avonmore Residents’ Association and support from their local Councillors, Hammersmith & Fulham Council agreed to commission a traffic survey in 2013 - this showed that over 1,700 vehicles a day were using these residential streets as a short cut with a significant number exceeding the speed limit even though the route is less than 150 metres in length. One motorcycle was clocked at an astonishing 56mph.

A lengthy process of design and consultation by the Council’s Highway Engineers followed and residents were presented with three options for traffic control. The overwhelming choice (60%+) was to close Bishop Kings Road with an ‘Emergency Vehicles Only’ gate at the junction with North End Rd and to make Earsby Street one way.

New emergency gates on Bishop Kings  Road in London W14

The work was completed in early November and local residents are now enjoying some peace and quiet.

Councillor David Morton said: "Residents have campaigned for this for over 30 years.We are grateful that the council has listened to us and taken positive action to fix the problem."

LBHF Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport & Residents Services Councillor Wesley Harcourt added: "The Council’s policy is to work with residents and to do things for them. I am pleased that we have been able to solve the problem and make the streets a quieter and more peaceful place to live."

November 23, 2017