A £6.25million funding programme to improve the borough’s roads, pavements and streets, and to support people walking, running, cycling and scooting, has been approved by Ealing Council.
The plans will see around 80 roads, tracks and pavements across all seven towns targeted for repairs, enhancements and servicing, starting this month (June 2022) and continuing throughout the remainder of the year. These plans are part of a four-year, multi-million pound Highways Improvement Programme and will also feed into the council’s wider climate action strategy through greener streets and safer routes for ‘active travel’ such as walking and cycling.
Extensive range of measures
Increasing the budget for highways to £6.25million is part of an extensive range of measures confirmed by the council to immediately address residents’ priorities, as council leader Peter Mason explained: “Investing in our roads, tracks and pavements improves road safety, supports people walking, cycling, running and scooting, and helps to tackle carbon emissions.
“We are already getting started on making these improvements and are ambitious with what we want to achieve. It is not a case of just going out and making repairs or resurfacing, we are enhancing our streets and roads wherever possible as well – for example, looking at how we can make it easier for pedestrians to cross, or those with mobility issues or disabilities to safely get around.”
Re-green, re-grow, re-wild
Councillor Mason added: “We are going to look for opportunities to re-green, re-grow and re-wild our streets, by planting more trees and creating biodiverse, sustainable urban drainage systems to minimise flood risks.
“We are listening to local people about where they think we need these changes, as part of our commitment to an open, transparent, and inclusive council. Resident feedback will help us to identify barriers to sustainable travel and improve things wherever we can.”
Supporting people to make the switch to active and sustainable modes of transport is essential to fighting the climate crisis and improve local air quality, as Councillor Deirdre Costigan, cabinet member for climate action, explained: “Excellent roads, tracks and pavements are a really important factor in giving people confidence to get on a bike or a scooter, or making a local journey on foot.
“If we can help as many people make this really positive change, ensuring better safety, access, and connection of the community, I know we it will hugely aid our aims of getting to net zero for carbon emissions in Ealing by 2030 and supporting local businesses by building the green economy.
“We are not stopping there though, a further £1million is being spent to rapidly expand the number of bike hangars available to residents – delivered exactly to where communities want them. We are going to slash waiting lists and cut costs for these hangars, meaning storing your bike will cost just a sixth of a car parking permit.
“There is also an investment of almost half a million pounds to continue the roll out of our Schools Streets programme, building on the success of the 15 we’ve already installed to ensure young people can cycle, walk and scoot to school safely.”
The condition of roads, streets and tracks Is identified through an annual condition survey, monthly safety inspections for main roads and inspections every three months for smaller roads. This information is used to prioritise the roads, tracks and pavements for renewal or repair. Residents can check the current list of planned renewal and repair activity on the council’s website.
When renewing or repairing roads and streets in the borough, the council’s contractors use a ‘warm mix’ asphalt rather than ‘hot mix’ which reduces energy use and CO2 emissions. Warm mix asphalt produces 10-15% less greenhouse gas emissions and has other benefits including a reduction in traffic disruption and noise pollutions, as roads can be opened quicker than when using hot mix asphalt.
If you are concerned about the safety of a road or pavement near you, you can report it on the council’s website.