Thursday, 6 August 2009

Linking Outside The Box

When it comes to traffic management in Worcester Park, I think it's fair to say that Transport For London (TFL) hasn't exactly covered itself in glory in recent years.

First there was the strange case of the yellow box junctions that TFL painted at several junctions along Central Road in July 2008. I and fellow blog readers were quick to question the point of them.

It turned out they were worse than pointless - they actually made traffic congestion along Central Road worse. When TFL realised that these box junctions were actually slowing their own buses down, they removed them after just six months.

Then there is the ongoing saga of the traffic light linking.

The solution is a relatively simple one - to link the four sets of lights along Malden Road/Central Road together to improve the flow of traffic. Funding from TFL was secured in early 2008, with the ducting work needed to link these lights together (surely in this wireless age there are easier ways to do it?) being undertaken at the beginning of December.

Since then the project has ground to a complete halt. If the experience of getting similar works completed in nearby Wallington is anything to go by, we could be in for a very long wait. Writing on his blog, Councillor Colin Hall expressed his frustration at the pace of TFL's works:

"The work...has been delayed for three years! According to TfL this was because they had to reorganise their staff and then priority was given to Central and East London."

Hopefully things could finally be moving for Worcester Park's traffic light linking. Liberal Democrat Councillor Kirsty Jerome has secured assurances from London Mayor Boris Johnson that the works will finally be getting underway, with completion targeted for the end of this month.

This being the school holiday season, it will be some time before we know if the scheme is effective or not, but hopefully it won't go the way of the yellow box experiment.