High Traffic Neighbourhood

Took me an hour (as opposed to 10 minutes) to drive my lad home from school this afternoon, thanks in part to the High Traffic Neighbourhood (‘Improving access for HGVs’) in Southall ‘Green’.

Like a rat, I tried the side streets and back roads option and found those to be jammed, too, and Scotts Road - although confusingly still two-way throughout - is now No Entry from the eastern end.

I would have abandoned my car and got out and walked/scooted home, but there was nowhere to leave it - all the pavements (and even the double yellow lines) were parked on, or being used by, er, pedestrians.

The more virtuous brothers and sisters amongst us may righteously question why me and my lad weren’t scooting/walking anyway? Why are we driving when Southall is known for its traffic gridlock?

We have done it a couple of times. It takes us 40 minutes each way in fine weather. My lad would love to do it every day, I’m sure, although not in the wind, cold and rain. I don’t believe my dodgy feet/knees/hips/back would manage it daily, either.

And why are we going to a school so far away from where we live?

Well, it’s the best (and happiest) school in Southall. And it’s the one that is furthest away from the gasworks stink and toxic air. We wanted to give our little asthmatic boy some clean air five days a week, if we could. (Of course, we since found out the school is under the Heathrow flight path, and next to the smoky narrowboats moored on the canal….).

(In case you are wondering, the ambulance somehow squeezed down the middle of Western Road, fortunately no well-intentioned bollards or planters in the way.)