Proposals to give pedestrians time to safely cross the road at the Windsor Castle junction in Carshalton are rejected. Charlotte Gilhooly reports

Last year we ran a ‘Green Man’ campaign at the busy intersection of the A232 Carshalton Road/The Parade with the B271 Beynon Road and B278 Park Hill (known locally as the Windsor Castle junction) in Carshalton.

As a group we believe the crossings are extremely dangerous as there are no green men on any of the junctions’ arms. This is highlighted by the fact that there are two local schools nearby.

Together with the support of Cllr Colin Hall and the headmistress of St Philomena’s we successfully persuaded TfL to run a consultation process, which they did.

As a result of the consultation process 50% were in favour of the proposed improvements, whilst 45% were against.

Today having read the results of the consultation, I am shocked that the Carshalton and Clockhouse Local Committee opposed the proposals to have green man phases on some of the arms of the junctions.

The fact that there are no green men on any of the arms means that it is highly dangerous for pedestrians to cross. It seems to me that the Councillors first priority is to prevent traffic building up and to avoid upsetting residents who find their roads being used as a rat run.

As a resident of Sutton and a student who is studying urban planning, I am dismayed at the idea that the only way pedestrians can cross safely is either to run across the road or to cross in fear of their life. Cars have been prioritised, but why? It seems crazy. If there is too much traffic, maybe it’s because there are just too many cars on the road and this issue perhaps needs to be addressed.

Sutton Council are supposed to be encouraging sustainability, but yet the local Councillors seem to be singing a different tune and also jeopardising the safety of pedestrians.

The full text of TfL’s response:

From: Frank Gosling, Head of TLRN Planning Unit, Transport for London
10 November 2008

Re: A232 Windsor Castle junction improvement – public consultation

Thank you for completing and returning the questionnaire that was distributed earlier this year. Outlined below is a summary of the responses received and an explanation of the decisions made with regards to the future of the project. We had hoped to provide a response earlier but restrictions imposed by the Mayoral elections and the need for discussions with local elected members have resulted in it being delayed until
now.

Consultation Summary

* 1743 Consultation packages delivered
* 371 responses returned, a rate of just over 21%
* 187 (50%) supported the proposals, 167 (45%) were against and the remainder having either conflicting information or being incomplete.
* 241 responses were returned from properties inside the consultation area, 142 (59% of the 241) of which were against the proposal
* 64 of those returns against the proposal cited concerns of increased ‘rat running’, congestion and pollution in local roads as a result of the proposed banned turns

Common Suggestions

1. A number of the responses, particularly from residents of Salisbury Road and Carshalton Park Road, asked why an ‘all red’ phase that would permit pedestrians to cross all arms of the junction could not be introduced.

Answer:

The current method of control at the junction, known as ‘cross with traffic’, allows both pedestrians and traffic to be negotiating parts of the junction at the same time. An ‘all red’ requires all of the traffic to be stopped to allow pedestrians to cross all arms of the junction.

This method of control would impose greater delay to general traffic and would result in a significant increase in traffic queuing on the approaches. The level of congestion and queuing created would have a greater impact on the surrounding local roads as motorists may seek alternative routes.

2. It was also suggested that a crossing be installed on the Carshalton Road arm of the junction.

Answer:

This was considered during the optioneering prior to the installation of the existing pedestrian crossing 100 metres to the west. Due to the inability to provide safe junction signal control, without an ‘all red’ phase or banning any movements onto this arm, the only option would have been to provide a staggered crossing arrangement. Unfortunately this sort of facility requires, as a minimum, a 3 metre wide central island for pedestrians to use and there was insufficient carriageway width at this point without removing a traffic lane which would clearly have a major impact on capacity. This was, therefore, not considered to be a viable option.

Council and Councillor Response

The Carshalton and Clockhouse Local Committee considered TfL’s proposal for the Windsor Castle scheme at its meeting in March this year. Members of the Council and the public present were united in opposition to the proposals put forward in the consultation. The six members, including the elected Ward Councillors, voted unanimously to oppose the proposal and urged TfL to withdraw the scheme.

TfL is however committed to improving London’s busiest roads for pedestrians and the scheme meets with Sutton Council objectives with respect to reducing potential accidents and improving accessibility for sustainable modes of transport. In order to ensure that Council Members fully appreciated the potential benefits of the proposals TfL met Sutton Council officers and two of the local Ward Councillors.

The merits and potential impacts of the proposals were discussed, along with possible mitigation measures. TfL’s position was that this was the best and possibly only option that could deliver improved pedestrian crossing provisions at this junction. It was also pointed out that, as TfL’s budgets are going to reduce significantly over the next few years, it is unlikely that funding would be available in the future if the scheme was not installed this financial year. The Councillors agreed to consider the points made and advise whether they wished to continue with their objection.

Outcome

The two Ward Councillors have confirmed their opposition to the proposal.

Conclusion

Based on the findings of the consultation exercise and the fact that the Local Authority Members are in opposition, TfL has decided not to continue with this scheme. I trust that the above is of help and thank you for participation in the consultation exercise.

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