Controversial road closures on Richmond streets will be made permanent despite locals saying the council should abandon the measures.

They say the traffic measures have pushed cars on their roads and led to fewer people visiting the area.

But those in favour of the Burtons Road traffic scheme said it was “desperately needed”.

The scheme restricts cars on some residential roads, with exemptions for residents, and was introduced in February 2022.

A council report said peak hour traffic was “very high” before the scheme as drivers avoided congested A roads nearby – causing “safety concerns for pedestrians and cyclists, with reported and observed incidents of poor and aggressive driving”.

It said the measures have “delivered on the objective to reduce displaced traffic flow on these unclassified residential roads”.

The report said data reveals increased traffic levels on nearby roads but that other factors had contributed – including the closure of Bushy Park to through-traffic – and that previous levels were “artificially low”.

It added that pollution levels have “fluctuated” but “largely remained the same” and “slightly decreased” in Park Road and Burtons Road, according to air quality monitoring data.

The report acknowledged “strong opposition” to the scheme and recommended other measures to address concerns.

At a transport committee meeting on January 10, town centre manager Georgia Ballantine said there is “significantly” more traffic on the high street since the scheme launched, with deliveries to businesses “significantly delayed or sometimes not delivered at all”.

She said: “I’ve spoken to many people who no longer use our small local businesses in Hampton Hill during the week as the traffic increase means they go elsewhere to reduce the time sat within the traffic, which is a real shame.”

But Lib Dem councillor Alexander Ehmann asked: “Why would opening up an additional arterial route on a residential road as a bypass do anything to deter rather than encourage more through-traffic into the area?” Ms Ballantine said she thinks “something needed to be done” for Burtons Road but that the scheme “needs to be reevaluated”. 

Edward Lang said: “All our roads are busier at peak times. Burtons Road is no exception yet seems to have been singled out as having a more serious problem than the rest of our roads.” 

Gary Evans urged: “Now is the time to listen to residents and abandon this divisive scheme.”

But local Jo Stead said she created the petition for the scheme to improve safety after growing “sick of how dangerous the road was for vulnerable road users”.

She said it seemed “to be working so far”. Arthur Gelling also called the scheme “desperately needed”.

Green councillor Caroline Wren said: “In terms of reducing traffic on what was previously an unacceptable situation on unclassified Burtons Road, this scheme has been a great success.”

She said the scheme “has returned traffic flows to the roads that were designed to take heavier traffic” and solved “many decades of complaints” – but called for other measures to be introduced as soon as possible.

The committee approved the scheme, including a commitment to delivering measures on other roads.