Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hounslow Highways responsible for?

Hounslow Highways is changing the face of Hounslow. A vast programme of improvements to the roads, footpaths, cycleways, street furniture and street lighting began on 1 January 2013. The programme is a result of an historic £800 million, 25-year deal signed by Hounslow Council that will see Hounslow Highways improve the borough's 259 miles of roads and 458 miles of footpaths. Improving the borough's streets and street features, we also provide a number of services such as street cleansing, graffiti removal and removing fly-tipped rubbish. We're maintaining the trees and grassed verges on the borough's streets and gritting the roads during winter. Over the first three years, we will replace the borough's 16,000 street lights with energy-saving, carbon-efficient LED lamps. At the same time, extending over five years, we are repairing and improving the borough's worst roads and footpaths with surfaces of a much higher standard. Street cleansing and fighting envirocrime is also a major priority for Hounslow Highways to help improve the overall appearance of the borough.

Will the project help save energy and carbon emissions in the borough?

Yes. The new street lighting system built using new low-energy low-carbon LED technology will be controlled centrally. The contract also enables us to improve recycling and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill sites. All of this will contribute to the environmental benefits of the project. 

Will all of the roads and footpaths be replaced with nice new ones?

A very large number of roads and footpaths will be replaced across the borough, but not all of them. Some of the roads and footpaths in the borough already meet recommended best practice and safety conditions. These will be regularly maintained, kept clean and free of weeds. Many roads and footpaths which do not meet the required standards will be improved during the first five years of the project. Precisely when they get done will depend how bad they are. For this reason it may take a few years before some roads and footpaths are improved - we will tackle the worst first.  

What's being done to tackle litter on our streets and graffiti in the area?

As well as improving and maintaining the borough's highways assets, Hounslow Highways is also responsible for street cleansing, removing grafitti and removing fly-tipping. With better mechanisation and better working practices, we will also further develop the work we do with community groups and schools to encourage everyone to help us improve the overall look and feel of the borough. When all the improvements under the new contract have been made - new roads, footpaths and lighting, we want everyone to help us keep them that way. Remember you can report any unsightly litter, fly tipping or graffiti to us. Just visit our Contact us page. 

If you are going to change the footpath outside my house, what about my driveway entrance?

If you have a dropped kerb and the entrance to your drive was installed under the council scheme, this will be replaced with new materials to a recognised standard. If you would like to be considered for a new drop kerb then you will have an option to request this before work starts.  Please visit our contact us page,

Will the project cause disruption?

Obviously with the amount of improvement works planned in and around the borough, there will unavoidably be some disruption. However, we are working on a programme to minimise this and ensure that any work is well coordinated with other companies, such as the utility companies. You may also sometimes wonder why we are not doing all the streets in an area in at the same time, but returning from time to time. This is so we can reduce any long-term disruption to specific areas. 

Why aren't you doing all the work in my street in one go?

We are concentrating on the worst areas of the borough first and it may be that different roads in your area are in different conditions and don’t need to be improved quite as soon as others. We want everyone to see improvements happening as soon as possible, so no area is left untouched in the first five years. 

Builders' materials have been placed on the footpath/road. Is this permitted?

Builders materials are allowed on the footpath/road as long as they have applied for permission from us.  If you are unsure whether we have given permission for the materials to be placed on the footpath/highway please contact us with details. We will investigate to determine whether the necessary permission has been agreed and if not will issue a warning that permission is required or that materials are removed. Failure to get permission or remove the materials could result in prosecution.

Sometimes people throw rubbish making the place look a mess - what should I do?

We understand that this is still a problem and we want to ensure it stops. Anyone can contact us to report incidents. We do want to encourage everyone in the borough to help be responsible for these types of problems and hope that over time, our community awareness programmes and school visits will ultimately help change behaviour.

A local store has an external display extending onto the pavement. Is this legal?

Some stores have private areas as part of the frontage of their premises and are permitted to extend their display to that boundary. However in some instances stores have displays illegally occupying the pavement area and causing restrictions on pedestrian access.If you wish to report such a matter, please contact us with the full details of the location so we can investigate. If proven to be illegally placed, we will ensure it is removed and prosecute if necessary. 

 

I'll bet once you put a nice new road down the utility companies will come along and dig it up?

Hounslow Highways is responsible for coordinating utility company works on the highways, as well as ensuring the quality of the roads is good for 25 years. As such, we work closely with utility companies to ensure this doesn't happen where possible, although on occasions, due to emergencies, it is unavoidable. Where it does happen, Hounslow Highways makes sure that the repairs done are done to the same very high standard.

We don't have enough cycle routes in the borough, are there any plans to change this?

When Hounslow Highways make any improvements in an area, a review is carried out as to what other activities may help the area. The council has specifically asked that when extra investment is being made in the borough, that cycling, safe routes to schools and access to public transport are all considered a priority. In the next few years, the Super Cycle Highway will be developed in the area and a new cycle route installed in Brentford as well as existing cycle routes refreshed with new materials. 

What type of work will you be doing on my street?

To find out what work has taken place or is planned in your streets during the Core Investment Period, please visit our My Works page. There you can input your postcode and see exactly what has been done and what is planned. Remember you can also follow us on twitter (@hounslowhways) or check the news section of the website for regular updates. 

Do you carry out works during the day or at night?

Where possible, we plan to carry out work on the busiest roads during the night or in off-peak hours, as this is less disruptive to traffic and to everyone going to work or moving around the borough. Work in residential areas is carried out during the day, to avoid disturbance at night. 

Will our streets be closed for days on end while the work is completed?

It is always our aim to re-open streets to traffic at the end of every work period. However, this may not always be possible, but if this happens, we will keep you well informed as to why not. The contract requires Hounslow Highways to ensure disruption is minimised while we are improving the streets. 

Will the works affect my local business?

Obviously, the works will unavoidably cause some disruption to local businesses as the programme of work is carried out. However, ultimately we hope that the improvements will make it easier for the local community to get around and attract more visitors to the areas. There is some evidence to suggest that a well maintained and an efficient road network helps to stimulate economic growth.

Mud has been left on the road from a nearby construction site. What should I do?

Mud on the road can be extremely dangerous to road users. Please contact us immediately and we will investigate the source of this and arrange either for the site owners to clean the area themselves or do so ourselves and charge the site owner for any costs incurred. We will also investigate what vehicle wheel-washing facilities are on site and any other measures required to avoid the problem happening again.

A neighbour is driving across the footpath to gain access to the front of their house. Is this legal?

It is illegal to drive over grass verges or footpaths unless a dropped kerb, approved and installed by us is in place. Contact us with full details including location, any times when this activity is regularly occurring and the vehicle details. We will investigate the matter and if necessary will arrange for the person to be advised that the activity should stop until a dropped kerb is installed and that they could be liable for the cost of any reinstatement of damaged areas of footpath. You can also contact us to make a request for a dropped kerb.

Trees and plants are overhanging the footpath or road from a property. Can anything be done about this?

Property owners are responsible for ensuring that plants and trees from their property do not overhang onto a pavement or street. Plants should be maintained to allow 2.5 metres vertical clearance of the footpath and vegetation below this level should be trimmed back to within the property boundary line. Trees overhanging the road should allow vertical clearance of 5 metres to allow uninterrupted passage of vehicles. Similarly any growth below this height should be trimmed back in line with the property boundary line. We will normally inspect the site and advise the owner of the action that is required to be taken. If this is not completed then with the help of government legislation we can serve a notice on the property owner to complete the work within a specified time. If the property owner does not carry out the work we will do the work and bill the property owner for any costs.

What happens once I've reported an abandoned vehicle?

A Community Environment Officer will attend site, assess the vehicle in question and take photographs. If it is considered an environmental hazard, a notice is placed on the vehicle asking the owner to contact Hounslow Highways within 24 hours or the vehicle will be destroyed. If nobody makes contact with Hounslow Highways, we will arrange for the removal of the vehicle.

If the vehicle is in a bad condition (i.e. wheels missing, broken windows), but is not a hazard, a police check will be carried out. If after 24 hours of the police check, no interest is shown in the vehicle, we will arrange for the removal and destruction.

If a vehicle is taxed or in a very good condition and is of some substantial value, it is unlikely to be abandoned. If the vehicle has not moved for a period of time we will monitor it by checking with the police and the DVLA to see if it is stolen. If all efforts to establish contact with the owner have failed and the vehicle is still taxed, the vehicle could be removed and stored in the pound of the council’s contractor and any costs incurred will be recovered from the owner. The vehicle will be destroyed if the owner does not make any contact within approximately seven days.

How long does it take to deal with abandoned vehicles?

We aim to visit a vehicle reported as abandoned within 24 hours of it being reported. We aim to remove 90% of all confirmed vehicles reported abandoned within three working days.

A notice has been displayed on a vehicle but it has not been removed, why?

This can be for one of the following reasons:
- The vehicle could be waiting for collection by our contractor for disposal
- The vehicle is taxed
- The vehicle has been claimed
- The vehicle has been found to be stolen and is waiting for collection by the interested party
- We are making enquiries into tracing the owner

What happens when a taxed vehicle is claimed?

If a taxed vehicle is claimed but is considered to be a public nuisance, we may ask the owner to remove it, or apply for a court order.

Who do I contact if there is an abandoned vehicle on housing land?

Contact Hounslow Housing, the organisation that manages the council's housing: 0208 583 2000.

Who do I contact if there is an abandoned vehicle on private land?

We are currently unable to arrange for the removal of abandoned vehicles from private land. There are many companies that will provide this service, you should ensure that they have the correct waste carrier's licence using the following link: http://www2.environment-agency.gov.uk/epr/search.asp    

Landowners and/or Managing Agents should also contact the registered keepers of the vehicle to notify them of removal.

What about untaxed foreign registered vehicles?

Due to limited powers to deal with foreign registered vehicles (including Ireland), we can only act if the vehicle is classed as abandoned.

Should I report an untaxed vehicle or a vehicle with an an out-of-date tax disc?

If you see a vehicle on the public road (car parks, driveways or housing association parking spaces don’t apply) with an out-of-date tax disc, you can report it to the DVLA. You don’t have to give your name. Your report will be investigated and enforcement action taken, if needed.

Ensure you have the following details about the vehicle in order to report it: registration mark, make, model and colour. Additionally, you'll need to provide the details of the location of the vehicle, including where it is and if it's near any feature landmark. Also include the time the vehicle can be seen on the public road and the name and address of the owner, if known. You can report it online to the DVLA or via their freephone hotline: 08000 325 202.



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