A mum living in Alder Road, Mortlake has voiced her concerns about the safety of her road as her neighbour “nearly got hit by a car” after parking bays were removed.

Kate Etherton has lived in Alder Road for 13 years, and up until 2019, the road always had parking bays for cars.

Kate said the bays were removed in 2019 due to emergency services being unable to drive down the road – and that the road soon became blocked with cars, as drivers thought the “extra” road was big enough for two-way traffic.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Kate told the Richmond and Twickenham Times that residents with cars “have since found scratches and bumps” from other cars speeding so quickly down the road.

She also said that the nearby closure of Hammersmith Bridge has led to traffic increasing and her road has become a “rat-run” for commuters.

Kate said: “Whilst congestion is frustrating, the real issue is safety.

“This road has the Scout Hut, a nursery, a dance school and is the pedestrian thoroughfare between two primary schools, Thomson House and St. Mary Mags.

“What happens during peak times is that cars mount the pavement and drive the full length in order to avoid waiting in traffic - trying to turn the road into two lanes when it's really only one.”

Kate said she must “check the pavement is clear” when her two children, Flynn, 10, and Evie, 7, go outside.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

She said: “Me and my husband are lucky because we have off-street parking, so we’re swept out of the way.

“But I do have small children who run on to the pavement - so I have to check it’s clear before they go outside.

“You teach your children to walk on the pavement - but when there are cars zooming onto the pavement, it’s just as dangerous as the road.”

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Kate said that she and other residents of Alder Road have “struggled to receive information from the council” about “how the road began to be a safety issue”.

She explained: “One of my neighbours requested a ‘freedom of information’ to emergency services and the council, to understand what exactly has happened.

“After a lot of chasing, the neighbour received an email from the fire brigade to the council in 2019, saying there was ‘an issue with fitting the emergency service down the road’”.

“The council responded and said they will ‘take some emergency measures with removing the parking bays and replacing them with double yellow lines’ and will ‘plan to make it permanent - through consultation with the residents’”

“Yet, we were only given one working day notice and more than two years later, there has been no discussion on the safety issues of our road- such as cars driving onto the pavement.

“One of my neighbours was told by the council that it was a ‘police matter so she needed to talk to the police’ – although it was the council who originally removed the parking bays.”

Kate also told of the time her “neighbour was nearly hit by a car within a matter of two inches”.

She explained: “Another one of our neighbours missed being hit by a matter of two inches as she stepped onto the pavement from the dance hall and was left very shaken.

“I heard the squeal, and the car was literally inches behind her. “Children run out of the nursery thinking they are safe on the pavement and yet the council won't listen to our concerns despite the number of close calls.”

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Kate says she and some other residents of Alder Road have requested safety measures for the road - such as “signage” or a “one-way system”.

She said: “We’re not asking for a lot; we’re only asking for some time of safety precautions to make sure the accident doesn’t happen.

“There has been a lot of cars scratched and bumped when cars turn to drive down our road.

“People just barge past and carry on, leaving the cars damaged.

“As far as I am concerned the council have created the problem, so they need to resolve it.”

A spokesperson for Richmond Council said: “Parking bays on Alder Road were removed to ensure emergency vehicles are able to use the road.

“The Council is aware of the safety concerns over Alder Road and is currently surveying the area to identify measures to help solve the situation.

“The Council is also working with the Police on the issue of drivers mounting the pavement and has requested that the Police enforce this dangerous driving behaviour.”