PALOMA Kubiak's report (Friday, July 24) drawing attention to local concerns about Ealing Council's plans to 'improve'Pitshanger Lane under funding from TfL's Streets for People initiative highlights yet again Ealing Council's out-of-touch planning administration.

In its present form, Ealing Council's design, displayed in the windows of several shops in Pitshanger Lane and Pitshanger Library, appears to ignore central guidance: 'Streets should not be designed just to accommodate movement of motor vehicles' (DfT Manual for Streets) and 'Streetscape design should respect the character of the place... and also the activity, vitality and distinctiveness of the local community' (TfL Design Principles 4).

Objectors to the scheme aim to oblige Ealing Council to modify the scheme to be more pedestrian-friendly and preserve the village character of Pitshanger Lane; described in Ealing's UDP Table 7A Shopping Hierarchy as "a Neighbourhood Centre providing essential local services", rather than a town centre like the newly updated Greenford commercial shopping area. We must get them to change their plans before they start digging up the place we love.

The official objectives of the scheme are said to be: To reduce the dominance of vehicles; to improve crossing facilities for pedestrians; increase the effective footway width, to facilitate two-way flow of vehicles, whilst ensuring vehicle speeds are attenuated; to provide loading facilities; to improve pedestrian directional signing.

Semi-recessed parking bays in the narrower South pavement to create a two-bus wide highway from Queens Walk to Albert Road will not reduce vehicle domination but increase it.

There is no absolute requirement for two buses to be able to pass one another other between Queens Walk and Albert Road, as long as there are adequate passing places at either end of that stretch of road - which there would be under the scheme's proposal to ban all South side parking between Curzon Road and Albert Road.

The need for buses and large vehi

cles to move cautiously would help to reduce traffic speeds better than other 'traffic calming measures'.

There are few places between Pitshanger Lane and Ealing Broadway station where two buses can pass side by side - they constantly have to give way to one another over the one-mile stretch of Pitshanger Lane east, Woodfield Road and Eaton Rise.

Removing part of the narrower south pavement to house parked cars will not increase the footway width in Pitshanger Lane but greatly reduce it. The opening doors of parked cars inset into the south pavement would render a further area of the pavement 'not effective/usable', making the usable south pavement too narrow for that busy thoroughfare with its 1m deep street trading and 2m deep street cafe areas and its public seating.

Banning daytime car parking on the north side between Castlebar Park and Curzon Road as proposed would create an uninterrupted two-bus wide highway from Kent Gardens roundabout to Albert Road which would inevitably increase vehicle speeds and hence vehicle dominance.

Parked cars on the north side at that point provide a useful bottleneck to reduce the speed of traffic approaching and leaving Pitshanger Lane, as well as providing much needed parking facilities near Pitshanger Lane.

Alternative proposals based on a selective application of key features of the council's scheme without sacrificing any of the precious south pavement have been sent to Ealing Council and are posted on the Pitshanger Community Association website

Pitshanger residents who have not already done so can register their 'objections' to the scheme in its present form by writing to Christopher Tonks, Interim Service Manager Capital Projects, Highways Management, London Borough of Ealing, Perceval House, 14-16

Uxbridge Road, Ealing W5 2HL or email

It is weight of opinion rather than cogent argument that will oblige Ealing Council and Cleveland Ward councillors John Popham, Ian Gibb and Greg Stafford to modify their present plans to impose on us a scheme that in its present form would do permanent damage to Pitshanger Lane.