Protest marches are being planned after Hounslow Council confirmed a controversial road closure in Isleworth will begin next week.

Church Street is set to be closed to through traffic for an 18-month trial period starting next Monday (December 7), despite a 1,800 signature petition opposing the move.

The council says the closure, which was approved following consultation earlier this year, will prevent the narrow residential road being used as a "rat-run".

But opponents say the measure will add to congestion and air pollution in nearby Twickenham Road, which is home to a number of schools and West Middlesex Hospital.

They claim too few people were given a say before the decision was made, with the council only sending out 748 consultation packs and not asking the hospital for its input.

Campaigners fear the impact will be further exacerbated by roadworks in nearby St John's Road, which began on Monday (November 30) and are expected to last until March.

Critics say closing Church Street will exacerbate traffic in nearby Twickenham Road, shown here

Allison Stevens, who started the online petition against the closure, said opponents are planning a protest march next Saturday (December 12), starting outside the old telephone exchange building at Busch Corner at 2pm and heading down Twickenham Road and along South Street.


She told getwestlondon they would stage further protests every month - possibly featuring a marching band or even a Mariachi band - until the decision is reversed.

"Church Street has always been a pressure relieving valve for Twickenham Road. The council's own figures suggest closing Church Street will lead to an extra 2,500 cars a day using Twickenham Road during peak hours," she said.

"What's really annoyed us is the undemocratic way in which the initial consultation went ahead. Closing St John's Road at the same time is hardly great planning either."

She added that protesters had written to the council to ask it to change the wording of a newly installed road sign to make it clear the closure is only a trial one.

Councillor Steve Curran said the findings of Hounslow Homes' internal fraud inquiry had been passed to police
Council leader Steve Curran urged people to "bear with us" during the trial closure

The closure was supported by around 60% of the 243 people who responded to the consultation this summer.

The council said safety concerns had been raised due to the volume of traffic on the narrow road, which many drivers use as a cut-through.

A spokeswoman said the impact would be monitored throughout the trial and officers would also look at whether there are any opportunities to improve traffic flow along Twickenham Road.

"Bear with us"

She added that traffic controls could also be introduced along North Street, depending on the result of further consultation planned in three months time.

Council leader Steve Curran said: "Church Street has long been used as a rat-run and is affecting the lives of residents there.

"This trial will enable us to understand the impact that closing Church Street will have on the wider areas.

"We know there have been mixed feelings about this and we ask residents to bear with us as we work through this process."

The council said the works being carried out in St John's Road would in the main have no impact on two-way traffic flow, with only occasional use of stop-and-go signs to facilitate deliveries.