Archive for March, 2014

Ealing Council’s cabinet has agreed to invest £4.6 million to improve roads and pavements across the borough in the coming year.
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This year, the council will spend £4.1 million on renewing roads and £500,000 on pavements. The road spending includes £1.2 million approved last November.

In addition, Transport for London has awarded Ealing Council £870,000 to spend on improving main roads in the borough. This brings the total spend on road and pavement resurfacing in Ealing to £5.5 million for the next financial year.

A survey of all the roads and pavements in the borough is carried out every year. Only independent, accredited survey companies can carry out this work. Surveyors walk the entire length of the road network looking for defects such as potholes, cracking, wheel-track rutting and other signs of deterioration and damage.

Each road is then given a condition rating on a scale of 1-100. Those with a low rating are considered to be in a good condition. Those with a high rating are judged to be in a poor condition and are targeted for resurfacing. The higher the rating, the sooner the works will take place. The survey takes place every year, because some roads degrade at a faster rate than others.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “Road and pavement resurfacing is an important priority for many residents. So I am delighted that we have been able to allocate considerable funds again this year to resurface the roads and pavements most in need across the borough. This work will be carried out in addition to the repairs and maintenance that have already been taking place in many of our local shopping parades.”

Over the past four years we have spent more than the Tories ever committed for the same period on road resurfacing, despite the massive cuts inflicting by their government.”

The full list of roads and footways scheduled for improvement in 2014/15 is available online.

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Ealing Council’s trial of an innovative new lorry alert system has reached the halfway mark and is already showing signs of improving cycle safety.
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The data revealed a significant 8% improvement in driver behaviour, owing to a reduction in speed, better indication and maintaining safer distances between other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. The trial also showed a 2% saving in fuel efficiency.

The Cycle Safety Shield System is the first of its kind that can detect cyclists, pedestrians and motorcycles 360 degrees around the vehicle while filtering out other inanimate objects, such as bus stops and lamp posts, reducing unnecessary distractions which can be caused by other detection alarms. An alarm will only sound to the driver if a cyclist or pedestrian becomes too close to the vehicle.

The system also scans the road ahead for speed signs, road markings and other vehicles, so it can notify drivers if they are travelling above the speed limit or if they drift into another lane. It also ensures drivers keep a safe distance behind vehicles in front, and automatically dims the lorry’s high-beam lights if on-coming traffic is detected.

Ealing Council has fitted the system to a ten-plate grab lorry, which is operated by its highway contractor, Murrill Construction Limited.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, Ealing’s cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “It is fantastic that this data is already showing promising signs of improving cyclist and pedestrian safety. By listening and responding to the system alerts, the driver has been able to amend his driving behaviour, which means he is driving more safely, being more alert to potential dangers and saving on fuel costs

“The audible and visible indicator on the left side of the vehicle has also given pedestrians and cyclists a more obvious warning that the lorry is turning left. It has had a positive impact on pedestrian and cyclist awareness and behaviour, with people stepping back from the edge of the kerb and cyclists avoiding riding directly next to the vehicle. No one wants to be involved in an accident and if this system can prevent just one incident from happening it’s worth it.

“I hope this is the start of a revolutionary change to the way drivers interact with other road users and make our streets safer for all. I’m looking forward to seeing the results of the second half of this trial, which are due to be released in the summer.”

Luke Brown, a driver for Murrill Construction Limited who is taking part in the system trial, said: “I find the system has already been a real benefit. I’m an experienced driver, but there is always room for improvement and this system has helped me adjust my driving.

“I’ve used another system in the past that beeped at inanimate objects, such as cones, barriers and parked cars, so it was constantly making noise. It became annoying very quickly and I found that I was trying to tune it out rather than listen and learn from it.”

Throughout the trial, the system detected around 1,500 pedestrians and cyclists per month but only alerted the driver around 100 times per month. All of these alerts resulted in the driver correcting his driving to avoid veering too close to the pedestrian or cyclist.

Ealing Council developed the technology in partnership with Safety Shields Systems and is running the trial using funding from Transport for London’s borough cycling programme.

Click on the cycling category tab for more on cycling in Ealing

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Ealing was named as one of eight boroughs to receive funding from TfL as part of the Mayor of London’s Mini-Holland initiative, it was announced yesterday.
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Ealing’s cycling plans were described as ‘exceptional’, with TfL pledging a share of the £100million funding for the council to implement the plans. The exact amount of funding Ealing will receive is still to be confirmed.

Councillor Julian Bell, leader of the council, said; “This is great news for cyclists in Ealing. After speaking with cycling commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, I am confident that we will get the TfL funding needed to deliver a sizeable proportion of our Mini-Holland bid. This will enable us to carry out the improvements in Ealing town centre and along the Uxbridge Road. But, our plan is to deliver the whole scheme, so we will also be looking to identify other funding that could be used to make Ealing’s full Mini-Holland bid a reality.”

Cycling is at the forefront of transport plans for the borough, and it is the council’s priority to transform Ealing into a friendlier and safer place for people to travel by bike. This funding announcement is fantastic news for the borough, and the council will continue to bid for additional money to carry out a full cycling-overhaul.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for environment and transport, added: “Our Mini-Holland bid focused on creating transformational cycling highways in key locations throughout the borough, which would make it easier and safer for people to travel on two wheels.”

Ealing was named along with Kingston, Enfield, Waltham Forest, Bexley, Merton, Richmond and Newham as the recipients of the £100million funding pot. Kingston, Enfield and Waltham Forest are to receive up to £30million each to implement their full cycling plans.

Ealing was short-listed for the mini-Holland fund in September last year.

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Ealing Council has secured a closure order on a house in Northolt which had become an anti-social behaviour hotspot.

Parkfield Close House subject to closure order

The premises closure order on the house at 1 Parkfield Close was granted by Ealing Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, 20 February. The order means that the site will be secured by the council for three months until 20 May 2014, and any unauthorised people on the property risk arrest.

Ealing’s safer communities team worked with concerned neighbours following reports of fights, drunken behaviour by visitors and allegations of drug taking.  In January there was also a fire at the house.  The owner of the house lives in a care home and was not implicated in the anti-social behaviour.

Cabinet member for community services and safety, Councillor Ranjit Dheer said: “Residents were understandably anxious about living near such a source of unpleasant activity. Anti-social behaviour can have such a big impact on people’s quality of life and we will take action to tackle this.

“I would like to thank residents for working with us and providing the safer communities team with the evidence it needed to secure a closure order. We will continue to work with the residents and police to monitor the site.”

To report anti-social behaviour ring 020 8825 7600 or email safercommunities@ealing.gov.uk

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