A resident's group has applied for a judicial review of a London council's decision to install a 'cycleway' which they say will lead to increased pollution and congestion in their neighbourhood.
The group, 'One Chiswick', claimed that Hounslow Council's use of an Experimental Traffic Order (ETO) to construct a temporary version of the cycle route was ‘undemocratic’.
According to reports, the application for judicial review is being brought by Asal Shirazi BEM, a Chiswick resident and mother of five who suffers from autoimmune disease, and Mike Ormrod, who runs Ormrod Lighting and Electrical shop on Chiswick High Road.
It is asserted that Hounslow Council acted unlawfully in not complying with the Equalities Act 2010 and the Human Rights Act 1998.
The cycleway, named 'Cycleway 9', is part of a network of cycle routes across London designed by Transport for London and is also part of TfL's Streetspace plan intended to boost walking and cycling during the pandemic.
TfL and Hounslow Council say the new lane along Chiswick High Road fills in a 'missing link', allowing people to cycle on a temporary version of Cycleway 9 between Kew Bridge and Olympia. The route also helps address the major challenges outlined in Hounslow's air quality and Climate Emergency Action Plans, the council says.
A version of the route underwent public consultation three years ago, in September 2017, and went through two phases of consultation before being signed off by Hounslow Council in September 2019.
In August 2020, TfL and Hounslow Council announced a cheaper, temporary version was to be built. To reduce construction time and cost, most of the temporary scheme was to be built largely within existing carriageway space, rather than using a mix of carriageway and footway as previously proposed.
Construction on the amended scheme started in September 2020.
One Chiswick claimed the introduction of the cycleway had "increased congestion and pollution" and had created new rat runs in formerly quiet residential roads as residents have to take long detours to travel to/from their homes or shops.
On its social media page, the group argued that the council is "determined to move ahead, ignoring local opinion and without pausing for proper consultation".
The group has set up a crowdfunding page which has raised over £5,000 for funds to supports its judicial review application.
With the High Court granting permission for a judicial review of Ealing Council's decision to introduce a Low Traffic Neighbourhood last week, One Chiswick's application comes at a time when a number of councils in London are coming under fire for their use of Experimental Traffic Orders.
Hounslow Council has been contacted for comment.