Agenda item

Petition Requesting for Traffic Calming Measures on Howlett's Lane.


The Cabinet Member considered a petition from residents requesting traffic calming measures on Howlett’s Lane, Ruislip.


The Lead Petitioner was present and made a number of points, including:


  • The fact that the centre portion of Howlett’s Lane was a divided highway, as seen in Appendix A of the officer report, added complications.
  • Another issue concerned speeding vehicles at the blind bend at the Breakspear Road end, past the Woodman pub and shops.
  • Despite the presence of a 30mph VAS outside number 36, regular speeding had been reported along the divided part of the road, particularly during morning and afternoon rush hours, with some residents even going the wrong way down this divided road.
  • The petitioners, through two 30 minute observation windows, detected 18 and 21 incidents of cars triggering the 30mph VAS respectively.
  • Additionally, the community of elderly residents at St Catherine’s Court which had access to Howlett’s Lane added further concern to the speeding issue as these resident’s needed time to cross this road and special considerations from drivers.
  • The police had been approached; the Lead Petitioner informed the hearing. In response, an Officer was sent, who carried out speed guns checks on motorists, but this was allegedly a one-off and not made into a frequent occurrence.
  • It was also remarked that HS2 construction in close proximity to Breakspear Road may have contributed to an increased number of vehicles in this area.
  • It was also mentioned that a 24/7 speed and vehicle classification survey was undertaken in 2021 which may negate the need to carry out a further survey.
  • The Lead Petitioner concluded their speech by clarifying that they would be happy for Council officers to recommend the appropriate practical solutions that could effectively combat the issues mentioned.


The Cabinet Member acknowledged points made by the Lead Petitioner. 


Councillor John Riley, Ward Councillor for Ruislip reaffirmed his support for the petitioners stating:


  • All three Ward Councillors for Ruislip were in support of the petition.
  • This particular stretch of road was a concern as motorists were able to build up considerable speed coming from St Margaret’s Road and Marlborough Avenue, onto Howlett’s Lane, particularly before they got to the sharp bend that drops down towards Howlett’s Lane shops. This was a concern as this area gets very busy during morning and afternoon rush hours.
  • The concerns over speeding in this area were made worse by the fact that this was not only a popular area for families and children, but also for a lot of walkers who were already constrained by the narrow pavement and also the proliferation of mobility scooter users.
  • In terms of options moving forward, Councillor Riley acknowledged that speed surveys had already been conducted and that this available information could be valuable. He also declared that the VAS had been very effective in terms of slowing people down.


Councillor Phillip Corthorne, Ward Councillor for Ruislip also reaffirmed his support for the petitioners stating:


·         He supported the petition and was very much aware of the issues highlighted by the Lead Petitioner and fellow Ward Councillor.

·         He reiterated the Lead Petitioner and residents’ desire for exploration of possible solutions.


Officers reminded the hearing that the previously mentioned traffic surveys were implemented as a result of concerns raised around the HGV use of Howlett’s Lane; however those results did not indicate a speeding issue. Officers proceeded to ask the Lead Petitioner whether there continued to be any persistent issues with lorries. The Lead Petitioner noted that this was a secondary issue but that these HGVs were causing damage to mature trees and also other problems with noise.


The Cabinet Member acknowledged points made by the Ward Councillor’s for Ruislip, the Officer and Lead Petitioner. 


Another resident and co-petitioner was invited to speak by the Cabinet Member. The resident raised a number of points:

  • the VAS had initially worked very well in terms of traffic calming, however some drivers were now appearing to take little notice of the sign.
  • The resident proposed changing the sign to display a live speed of vehicles approaching.
  • Speed humps would not be effective and could create other problems.


The Cabinet Member acknowledged points made by the Resident and questioned whether this speeding was occurring in both directions which the Lead Petitioner confirmed. The Lead Petitioner added that they are seeking solutions and that in their opinion chicanes could be a potential solution. 


In reference to the resident’s proposal for changing the VAS display along the road, the Cabinet Member sought to ask officers to explore whether a different type of signage may be feasible and effective. Officers also responded to the suggestion of chicanes, to which it was stated that there were many complications with these and associated width restrictions. Further to the Lead Petitioner’s statement that the speeding was happening in both directions; the Officer suggested that a VAS could be instigated in both directions.


RESOLVED: That the Cabinet Member for Property, Highways and Transport:


1)    Met with petitioners and listened to their request for traffic calming in Howletts Lane, Ruislip;


2)    Asked officers to investigate the possibility of a pair of ‘VAS’, one in each direction, on Howletts Lane;


3)    Asked officers to explore different types of signage that could be deployed at this location; and,


4)    Asked officers to look into any other steps that might be taken to mitigate the problems raised.


Reasons for recommendations:


The Petition Hearing provided a valuable opportunity to hear directly from the petitioners of their concerns and suggestions.


Alternative options considered / risk management:


None at this stage.

Supporting documents: