Hounslow Council Consulting on Parking in the Borough

Wants to encourage modes of travel other than cars

More kerbside to be given to uses such as EV charging. Picture: Hounslow Council

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ChiswickW4.com and BrentfordTW8.com

September 19, 2023

Hounslow Council has launched two related consultations into how parking in the borough is going to be managed in the future.

It has published two draft strategies on the use of car parks and the kerbside and will be seeking the views of residents over the next 12 weeks.

The overarching aim of both strategies is to provide parking facilities while encouraging a switch from car use to more active forms of travel including walking and cycling. Almost half (44%) of all trips made by people in the borough are by car or motorcycle. One quarter (24%) of trips from Hounslow are made by public transport and 29% walk with 3% cycling.

The draft strategy report on kerbside use says, “Providing lots of car parking, without adequate provision for other modes, can make car based travel appear to be the easiest choice. This does not align with the Council’s active travel and environmental aims. A more balanced approach that recognises the diversity of travel options available is needed, whilst recognising that not everyone is able to walk, cycle or use public transport for every journey, and some people rely on private car travel to get around.”

It is the first time ever that the council has developed a Kerbside Strategy and may be the first within an Outer London setting.

At present, nearly 60% of trips in the borough are made by walking, cycling and public transport, with a target for this to reach 71% by 2041 part of the Hounslow Local Implementation Plan. It is concluded that more space at the kerbside will be needed to accommodate an increase in demand for these modes.

A hierarchy of use for the kerbside has been developed for the different categories of street across the borough with residential and visitor parking generally ranking the lowest. In town centres, deliveries and loading is ranked highest but elsewhere other uses such as parklets, EV charging spaces, car clubs and cycle provision are to be give greater priority.

The council will be aiming to reduce the number of deliveries made by motor vehicles and plans to explore the feasibility of virtual / flexible use of pay by-phone bays and permit holder bays to allow their use for loading and unloading activities. It also intends to liaise with businesses in areas of high demand for parking and delivery to promote e-cargo bikes and implement dedicated delivery bays for cargo bikes and e-cargo bikes in town centres as well as continuing to promote the existing cargo bike loan scheme.

There are currently two car club providers operating in Hounslow, Zipcar and Enterprise. Both operate through a “back-to-base” model, with vehicles located in either designated on-street bays or off-street parking areas (such as in private or public car parks). Combined, they offer 34 vehicles and have almost 7,000 members. The council is hoping to significantly expand car club provision in the borough.

More space is also to be given over to Sustainable Urban Drainage (SuDS) measures. Turning grey areas of impermeable surfacing such as kerbside tarmac to greening reduces the risk of flash flooding by intercepting and slowing down the flow of rainfall to sewers and waterways.

The Parking Strategy document includes a review of parking provision across the borough and an assessment of potential future parking demand.

The report concludes, “Current and future predicted demand for car parks across each town centre, coupled with wider Council objectives and goals concerning sustainable travel and the Climate Emergency, suggest that additional off-street parking supply is not required in the period up to 2030.”

There are around 30 car parks across the borough, providing over 2,000 spaces. The council runs 14 car parks, seven of which are in Hounslow town centre with three in Chiswick and one each in Brentford and Isleworth.

The report says that the council should seek to meet the Park Mark standard for all car parks under their operation and suggests that higher charges for diesel vehicles could be considered for council car parks. The borough already has implemented a surcharge for diesels for parking permits.

The scope to raise charges more generally is limited as private car parks in the borough are already generally cheaper for both day-to-day parking and season tickets.

Car ownership levels in Hounslow are higher than the London average and there are considerable variances in car ownership across the borough. Highest car ownership levels are found in Osterley, Heston, Hounslow South and Hanworth.

Cllr Salman Shaheen, Cabinet member for Recreation, Public Spaces and Parking said, “As a borough we need a progressive car parking strategy that not only manages and enhances existing provision but also takes into consideration emerging trends.

“The strategy looks to maximise benefits for users and parking management by examining key areas, including parking supply, safety and security as well as future mobility, pricing, active travel including cycling and walking, accessible and priority parking for those with disabilities or parent and toddler bays.”

Cllr Katherine Dunne, Deputy Leader of the Council for Climate, Environment and Transport added, “This draft strategy aims to engage residents, businesses, and visitors to help us reimagine the kerbside for enhanced functionality, attractiveness, and safety, while recognising the diverse needs and mobility options of the population.”

The consultation is open for 12 weeks until 10 December. The council is inviting anyone living or working in the borough to comment on the two draft strategy documents. You can read them in full and respond to a survey on this page.

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