A £4-MILLION scheme to streamline Southall Broadway could end misery for both drivers and pedestrians.
The initiative, proposed by Ealing Council, is designed to improve the flow of traffic and also make it easier for people to walk along pavements, free from obstruction.
The Broadway is one of the busiest parts of Southall but is regularly brought to a standstill by traffic bottlenecks.
A multitude of stalls selling everything from fruit and vegetables to toys and phonecards often obstruct pedestrians, some of whom step into the road and put themselves in danger from oncoming traffic.
Ealing Council leader Julian Bell announced the scheme, still in its very early stages, at a meeting at Southall’s Dominion Centre last Wednesday.
Speaking to the Gazette this week, he said: “We want to do something where we can improve life for pedestrians without having an adverse impact on the flow of traffic. If anything, we want to be able to improve traffic flow in that part of Southall.
“This is something that residents have been asking us for for some time.
“We mentioned it at the meeting last week and we took questions about it afterwards.
“I know there has been more than one accident in the Broadway in recent years as people regularly have to step into the road to get around the many stalls that are on the pavement.”
Mr Bell said the council has already allocated £100,000 into a feasibility study for the project, which it would then use to help attract a total of £4million in investment from Transport for London, the Mayor of London and also from the private sector.
If successful, the council would work on the scheme in phases, with the aim of finishing it by 2014.
“We are looking at this not just as something which will impact on traffic but we also want to make this part of Southall more aesthetically pleasing,” he said.
Business leader Dalawar Chaudhry, who runs the restaurant Chaudhry’s TKC in the Broadway, said: “Anyone in Southall knows that we have our priorities, and at the top of the list is parking.
“Obviously we welcome any initiative by Ealing Council to improve Southall but the number one thing that needs tackling is car parking.
“We are at a breaking point because of the lack of car parking facilities in the area.
“I do agree that something must be done about pavement stalls, though. They can take up a lot of space and any unlicensed stalls should be done away with immediately.”