Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Central Road To Hell

Worcester Park is  braced for months of traffic chaos when a major programme of gas and water mains replacement and street improvements gets underway from January 2011.

The works will see partial or complete closures affecting Central Road and Malden Road as well as Green Lane, Park Terrace, Longfellow Road, Lynwood Drive. The programme of works is due to start on January 10th and will run through until March.

The main disruption to traffic will be from water and gas mains replacement works taking place in Central Road, running from the junction with Green Lane (by Kingfish), going under the railway bridge and up towards the junction with Park Terrace (by the Worcester Park Tavern).

Green Lane and Park Terrace will be closed for two months from January 10th (bad news for those living in Longfellow Road or any of the other nearby feeder roads which will bear the brunt of the extra traffic pouring onto Central Road).

For the first four weeks from January 10th, two-way traffic will be maintained on Central Road, but from  February Central Road will be reduced to one lane for a whole month, with temporary traffic lights controlling the traffic.

With traffic already at (or arguably over) critical levels in Worcester Park, it's hard to see these works as bringing anything other than complete gridlock to the town for weeks on end.

Unhappy New Year Worcester Park!  




35 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Geoff said...

But surely they have to completely resurface the road first .... then dig it all up for the utilities!!

Let's just hope that the "authorities" realise just what chaos this is going to cause and make sure that full effort is applied to completing it rather than the normal practice of planting road cones and watching to see if they take root.

Ta Mack said...

Oh no. I realise it's cheaper and easier to do everything at once, dig one hole and replace gas, water mains at the same time but surely this could have been done at a more 'convenient' time of the year, and not on such a big scale as this. During the summer holidays perhaps?! Maybe they'll sort the traffic lights out at the same time to ease the flow once its all completed.

I have seen the advance warning signs all the way up in north cheam so the level of disruption is going to be huge. No chance of even catching a bus in the area. What a joke.

It's the residents of Stoneleigh I feel sorry for. Where are they going to be able to park now when they drive to Worcester Park station? ;)

John said...

I would be interested to know if the roadworks up by the BP garage at Ewell will be complete before these starts. WP traffic has been much heavier in recent weeks/months because of that work, if both roads are dug up at the same time then it is going to be chaos

Geoff said...

In answer to Ta Mack's concern for the Stoneleigh residents, they will be parked in one of the traffic jams. Just leave it there, go to work !!

axlrocky said...

Maybe Mssrs Burstow and Davey could explain their reasons for these works and their timing to quell the panic that is setting in for anyone familiar with the carnage these sorts of works generally cause - oh wait they only communicate to the electorate during the run up to an election.

All general lib dem hating aside these works do need to be done, so I am sure they have made provision for the stress caused to their voters and would be happy to explain the plan of attack for those commuting to Kingston from Sutton or vice versa?

Claire said...

OMG! I haven't lived in the area that long so don't know any detours, does anyone have any advice on alternative routes to the A3 (towards London). I will be coming from Lynwood Drive/bottom of the high street. Many thanks in advance.

Jules said...

Time to open the cattle tunnel on Lynwood Drive and Kinross Avenue. At least as a Tempory measure for cars.

Anonymous said...

Sutton Council is promoting the works as "Grand plans to improve transport ... The project will include improving traffic flow, new underground gas supplies and water management projects and an innovative scheme called 'streets for people' which will make the area around Worcester Park Station friendlier for pedestrians." Let's hope the temporary pain of road closures will be worth it in the long run. http://www.sutton.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=11587

Jeff said...

Claire - If you live in Lynwood Drive and want to get to the A3 then you might do worst than park in Kinross Avenue on the other side of the Cattle Arch under the railway line for the duration.

Let's hope nothing big breaks down in Lincoln Road during the rush hour as it will be the only way in and out of the Hamptons and Kingshill Avenue area - unless they open up the eastern exit from the Hamptons into Boscombe Road.

Anonymous said...

'...make the area around Worcester Park Station friendlier for pedestrians.'

I assume that means shooting all the pigeons and cleaning under the rail bridge too.

Anonymous said...

Claire- there is no real alternative way to get to the A3 as WP is one of the few places to cross the railway. Hence why WP is a traffic nightmare because of the sheer volume of cars going through this bottleneck. I can't see that the proposed traffic works will resove that basic issue so I wouldn't get hopes up about a massive improvement in the long term. If you're going towards London then perhaps train/ tube would be a good idea?

But for those commuting to Kingston I’d really recommend cycling as an alternative while these roadworks are going on. You don’t have to go on the busy main road/ bus route- you turn off at sheephouse way and then it’s quiet back roads pretty much all the way. It only takes me 20 mins door to door- which is much quicker (and cheaper) than bus, train or even car on this route- and that’s without the road works! And as a nice bonus I’ve lost at least half a stone since I started cycling to work.

I know it’s not an ideal time of year for cycling but surely it’s better than sitting in the Worcester park traffic jam?!

axlrocky said...

Any details on the improved pedestrian experience would be interesting - street jugglers and free doughnuts? Its a pavement - how exciting can the experience get!

this really is a solution with no real long term solution - someone in office is going to have to come up with something radical and upleasant to force the cars off the road - championing public transport isnt enough as the buses cant get through either at the moment - what about using Nonsuch Park as a Park and ride scheme. All those takers of the park and ride scheme get a reduction in council tax - or something similar - maybe you could run a competition WP blogger for the most innovative solution? SOmeone in WP must have enough brain cells to come up with a plan - failing that, anyone got the A-teams number?

coffee man said...

This is really going to affect the shops, what with VAT going up on the 4th January to 20%.
Are the 'powers that be' trying to finish off Worcester Park altogether. i bet they won't get a rebate on their business rates!!!!!!!

Amy Georgina said...

Oh heck no, please not the Boscombe Road entry to the Hamptons (can you tell what road I live in?!)

I'll be continuing the plan I've adopted in recent weeks which is to go via Garth Road and Motspur Park to A3/Kingston. Works fine for me given that I drop daughter in North Cheam nursery and head back down London Road - from Lynwood Drive it might not be practicable - I would follow others advice and park the other side of the cattle arch.

Lord Cynic of Lindsay said...

To be as constructive as possible -

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!

Claire said...

Parking the other side of the cattle arch is a great idea I hadn't thought of, so will give that a go, thanks. The train is difficult for me as I travel to work with my 2 young kids plus a tonne of books every day, however if the roads get really bad I may have no choice...

red ken said...

Axlrocky- I like the park and ride idea but if you want radical and unpleasant, how about we turn central road into a toll road!! WP residents would get in and out for free of course, but all those ruining our town by driving through it everyday (often too fast when not stuck in a jam) would have to pay the price. That’d put a few of them off!

Jeff said...

Once again, the Worcester Park Bypass, originally mooted in 1938 but postponed due to World War Two, is beginning to look attractive. We've discussed this on the WP Blog before but just to recap it would run from the Lower Morden roundabout, along the road that is closed to traffic that runs between the cemeteries and The Hamptons, over the railway by the ramp that already exists at the bottom of Green Lane, through Manor Park (that's the only downside) and finally join Malden Road at the junction with South Lane.

Everybody living in the Green Lane/Hamptons/Browning Avenue/Kingshill Avenue and far ends of Longfellow Road, Caldbeck Avenue etc would find it easier to join the new Bypass at the bottom of Green Lane near the Ramp taking pressure off Central Road and Malden Road.

Both routes would of course converge at South Lane. Traffic intending to turn south on the A3 could be encouraged to go down South Lane by removing the stupid humps and redesigning the South Lane/A3 junction to make access to the A3 more friendly. In addition, by building an underpass and roundabout on the A3 at that point, traffic could also join the A3 London-bound direction. Or it could cross the A3 and head towards Kingston that way thus relieving pressure on the New Malden roundabout and by-passing New Malden.

Up until 1972 you could cross the A3 at the South Lane junction (which was controlled by traffic lights) and it was a much quicker way of reaching Kingston as it bypassed New Malden and the New Malden roundabout.

A Worcester Park Bypass along these lines would effectively provide TWO separate routes to the A3 and beyond instead of the present one thus reducing traffic flow on Central Road and Malden Road by up to half. Surely that's what everybody wants?

Anonymous said...

The bypass does sound attractive, but how would it affect Green Lane school? Plus wouldn't it cause a lot more congestion at the Green Lane/Central Road junction with the vastly increased flow down Green Lane? Its already clogged every morning and evening as it is. Or am I missing the point entirely?

Would like to see a diagram of the proposal!

Anonymous said...

the traffic that has built up over the past few years is mainly due to the installation of traffic lights both at worcester park station at the junction of the avenue, at the junction of green lane and at the junction of south lane and malden road. This may sound unbelievable to anyone who doesn't remember worcester park before traffic lights but there was no build up of traffic especially in the high street as without traffic lights drivers were readily happy to stop and let people out if necessary and also the traffic flowed on the main roads so much more freely that there was always ample opportunity to pull out of the side roads. I have lived and driven in worcester park and the surrounding areas for years and it has only become unbearable of late. Take notice of just how the traffic lights are set to function next time in worcester park and you will see. More hindrance then help............

Anonymous said...

Anon- Although the traffic lights may contribute I’m not convinced that they're the root cause of the problem? Could it actually be that traffic volume has increased as population has?? The traffic lights at the station have been there at least 10 years for a start, although agreed that the interaction with the green lane ones may have exacerbated matters.

But in any case, we have to remember that WP high street is not a motorway - it is a shopping street with a busy station- people need to be able to cross the road. It’s a catch 22 situation- the more traffic you have, the more difficult and dangerous it is to cross so you need pedestrian crossings which ok do slow traffic, but what’s the alternative? People only able to shop on one side of the road or not able to walk to the station. WP high street is already bad enough for pedestrians- the other day I had to wait about 5 minutes to cross over while I was shopping near the top of the street as there was just a constant stream of fast moving traffic- and I’m not exactly old and infirm. No wonder our shops are struggling when the amount of traffic on our high street makes shopping there an unpleasant and difficult experience. And as a cyclist I would be absolutely petrified of turning right out of either green lane or south lane without the lights.

In this case the bypass sounds like the best idea- although probably unlikely as the cost would be enormous. But to avoid just increasing traffic to refill the high street they would have to make it more pedestrian friendly- even partly pedestrianise so cars could drive to it but not through it. Just imagine- tables outside in the summer and plenty of space for mums, buggies and the rest of us. Snow day gave us all a taster of how nice WP could be without being dominated by the cars. Nice dream now back to reality......

Geoff said...

It's interesting what Anonymous has said about no traffic lights, especially at the bottom of he Avenue. I've lived in Worcester Park for 25 years now and as far as I am aware these lights have been there in that time. So, when were they installed?
I used to also get the green line coach from Carshalton to Sunbury on Thames back in 1980 and I can well remember the traffic jam in Central Road back then. It's always been a problem and one that isn't going to get any better.
I quite like the toll road idea, but then that would have to apply everywhere to be fair. Wait a minute ..... isn't that being proposed already?

Anonymous said...

i agree the traffic lights are to blame, they should put round junctions and bridges or subways under the roads for pedestrians to access the station.

coffee man said...

Many Councils are now considering doing away with traffic lights altogether. Studies abroad have found that traffic moves more quickly(less jams)and there are less accidents due to drivers taking more care,whereas at present you can reckon at least 3/4 cars 'jumping' the lights at Worcester Park Station at each change. Which many local drivers can attest to.
Also doing away with traffic lights would save the Council's a lot of money.

Anonymous said...

Interested to hear about those old plans for a Worcester Park by-pass - I never knew about the ramp. Just had a look on google satellite image and its really quite obvious what the proposed route must have been.
I hope when they re-do the pavement they get rid of the massive expanse on either side of the road by the chip shop to create a couple of bus 'cut ins'. As it is now when a bus stops just inside Green lane it blocks the road and the traffic trying to turn into Green Lane backs up into Central road. I know the buses only block the road for a minute, but anything that can be done to keep things flowing has got to be an improvement.

Anonymous said...

As a regular 213 passenger, the traffic only got much worse when the traffic lights were installed at South Lane.

axlrocky said...

Red Ken - love the toll idea, the money raised could then directly fund the overpass. It would provide jobs for local residents as we would only employ WP residents.

The builders for the underpass will all be forced to use local suppliers for things that they feasible can - the toll road workers will use the local shops - we will be helping the environment as reducing cars - its win win, with the usual traffic flow and the toll at 2 pound a day, if we start tomorrow we should be ready to build the overpass by next Tuesday.

axlrocky said...

in response to the when did the avenue have traffic lights installed - I can remember even in the early 90's there being a roundabout/give way at green lane/central road and no traffic lights at the avenue - it was an horrific junction because noone gave way but it did exist.

Philip said...

Trying to inject some realism:

Forget localised tolls. That's not going to happen until we have pay as you go road charging for the whole country, so quite a few years off.

And in the current financial climate, there's also no way that budget will be granted for a bypass.

The cattle arch is not wide enough for two lanes of traffic. Although inconvenient, the lack of any road crossing of the railway between the stations is one reason that the most roads are quiet and pleasant to live on.

I think what the Kingston-Sutton route needs is a bus lane which would then encourage people to use the bus rather than drive. Still a real challenge to implement, reducing pavement space, maybe removing some parking, but it's more feasible than the other options.

Although not popular with Boscombe Road residents, I also think that the single entry/exit to The Hamptons, and the Green Lane congestion that it causes, is on borrowed time - regardless of the planning restrictions were at the time of the development. For traffic going South on the A3 there would already be an operational bypass available - down the A24 to the A240 (Ewell Bypass) to the Tolworth A3 roundabout.

Anonymous said...

Philip,
what we need is a tram system between Kingston, Sutton and Epsom.

Jeff said...

Buses? Trams? Sorry Philip, public transport is what is known in the trade as a 'distress purchase', you only buy it if you've got no choice, and that's what it will always be.

Like most people, I would rather sit in my heated (or air conditioned) car playing the music of Roy Orbison for an hour rather than spend 20 minutes on a bus, tram or train. That's even though I've got a Freedom Pass which makes all public transport free.

Make no mistake, the majority of the public think the same way - preferring private transport to public transport given the choice. And as this is a democracy, you can't over-rule the majority!

Most of the other points you make are spot on. Tolls aren't going to happen, there's no money for a Worcester Park By-Pass and widening the Cattle Arch isn't feasible. But a bus lane from Sutton to Kingston forcing cars into single file would only make confusion worst confounded for drivers.

Getting rid of s few traffic lights might help, like the ones at the South Lane/Malden Road. But other than that we'll just sit in our cars and grumble because secretly that's what we like doing!

Anonymous said...

The message from our so-called representatives must be give up your job for two months, because your journey time is likely to be extended considerably. Cynical timing in mid-Winter as well. Abysmal start to the New Year.

I anticipate the queues will be up to North Cheam and beyond everyday.

axlrocky said...

got it - make school start at 7am like in Germany and thus the rush hour will be split in half. The school run will also start earlier in the afternoon which will ease things at the second rush hour.

For my next trick I will work out how to get the queue system working in Greggs on a saturday!

turkey said...

the reason so much traffic congestion is to many cars per household. to many single person cars ,to many lazy mothers not walking kids to school .

Geoff said...

It just got worse. I have seen a sign advising that Park Terrace/The Avenue is to be closed at Central Road/Malden Road for the full 8/10 weeks. Now that should be interesting when it first happens. Shall I take my video camera and a deck chair?

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