Thursday, 16 September 2010

Boroughs reject Boris's traffic light removal plans

Boroughs across London have hit out at proposals by Boris Johnson to remove dozens of traffic lights describing them as poorly thought out and dangerous.

Correspondence between the boroughs and Green London Assembly Member Jenny Jones reveal a widespread reluctance to remove the lights amidst concerns about cost and safety

Both Lib Dem run Kingston Council and Conservative run Havering rejected all of TfL's suggestions, whilst Tory run Bexley said they had "no immediate plans" to remove the lights.

Tory run Richmond also said that it was "unlikely" that they would remove any of the proposed lights.

Meanwhile Kensington and Chelsea said that the discussion was "premature" whilst Harrow council pointed out that two of the suggested crossings were only installed two years ago.

They also point out that the latter two form part of the London Cycle network, a scheme that the mayor is presumably signed up to:

Jenny Jones AM said today:

"I am glad that local authorities are rejecting some of the Mayor’s suggestions and taking the time to consult local people and the vulnerable about others. It seems ridiculous to be taking out crossings which have only been put in two years ago. A more sensible and cost effective approach would be to have a systematic review of whether traffic signals are worthwhile, when they are actually due up for renewal. There seems to have been a lack of clear communication between Transport for London and the boroughs.”

TfL estimate that removing the 145 crossings would cost around £1 million although this figure is disputed by some.

Labour London Assembly Member Val Shawcross said of the plans today:

"Not only have these plans given rise to serious safety concerns but, at a time of huge government cuts, wasting such a large sum of public money on a potentially dangerous scheme that it seems no one wants strikes me as madness."

The principle of removing traffic lights did get support from one council however.

Motorist-loving Barnet said that they "generally support" the scheme but added that the suggested sites had already been considered by the council.

They expressed regret that TfLs propoals were released before they were able to "correct this mistake."

  • You can read the full list of proposed removal sights here.
  • You can also read longer quotes from the councils and a list of disputed crossings here


Anonymous said...

It's all very strange. I can't see any reason why they chose these crossings in particular

Anonymous said...

I live in Barnet close to one of these junction. It is a very dangerous junction and after much lobbying and an inspection by none other that the Chief Executive of the Council (or so my local councillor tells me)everyone agreed that removal was just plain stupid. The GLA Economic report prepared by traffic consultants, Colin Buchanan and which underpins this entire strategy is, in the case of the East Barnet Road junction, flawed and full of inaccuracies and perverse logic such as " we haven't had many accidents at this junction with traffic lights operating so that means they are safe to take out". The report also makes it clear that this is all about road traffic and "does not consider the disbenefits to pedestrians". Sadly,I suspect that the quote regarding support for this initiative comes from none other than the champion of motorists Mr Brian Coleman who seems to be completely out of touch with the vast majority of Barnet residents.