ROADWORKS which are cutting off Harmondsworth over the summer have riled villagers.
They say the closure of Hatch Lane has led to huge tailbacks in surrounding areas, particularly in Sipson, which is coming under strain from the volume of through traffic.
All vehicles are being diverted to Bath Road, Sipson Road and Holloway Lane, and short journeys now take a lot longer.
The roadworks are being carried out to reduce the speed limit to 20mph and install traffic calming measures.
They are in response to peoples’ concerns about speeding and the number of noisy heavy goods vehicles using the route.
Hillingdon Council contractors started the work on Monday last week and it is expected to last for eight weeks.
Eilish Stone, of the Harmondsworth and Sipson Residents’ Association, said people in the neighbourhoods around Hatch Lane were not properly consulted about the closure. She believes adequate measures to minimise the impact have not been put in place.
Hillingdon Council insists it carried out an ‘extensive consultation and planning exercise involving residents, ward councillors, Transport for London, the local emergency services and bus operators’.
But Ms Stone is not convinced. “I have heard from many residents who are very unhappy about this,” she added.
“The leaflets went only went out to a few people. We were not consulted on this proposal but presented with what was planned. I am appalled.
“It is inconvenient and frustrating for everyone. We wanted enforcement of the speed limit on Hatch Lane, cameras maybe, and not the disruption these measures are likely to cause.
“I hope that the large sum of money that is being spent on this project will be money well spent.
“I have my reservations.”
The two buses that serve Harmondsworth via Hatch Lane – the U3 and the 350 – have been diverted along with all other traffic. Mrs Stone said there had been confusion about the new routes, and instances where buses had failed to pull up at temporary stops.
“I am particularly concerned for our many elderly residents who rely on the buses, and for those with mobility problems who will not be able to walk to Bath Road or to Sipson to access transport to attend medical appointments,” she said.
Some people have also taken it on themselves to pull open the barriers and drive through, adding to the uncertainty about the access.
In a statement, Hillingdon Council said a community bus service is running to take older passengers to the nearest stop.
“The scheme will create a much safer and less polluting environment with a 20mph limit,” it said.
“It will also encourage heavy goods vehicles to seek more appropriate routes and make Hatch Lane a much better environment for the local primary school children, pedestrians and cyclists who use the area.”
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