Friday, 1 November 2013

Picture The New One Way System

A few days ago, blog reader Richard sent me a set of photos he took during his morning walk along Hampton and Windsor Roads on his way to the station.

Readers may remember that many residents local to the immediate area are not best pleased with the new arrangements. Stewart Mackay (a local Conservative) who has been out knocking on doors in the area gathering petition signatures to reverse the decision will apparently be doing the rounds again tomorrow (Saturday 2nd November) in Moreton Road and Donnington Road. You can also still sign the on line petition which is at:

Here is a selection of the photos, including Richard's commentary for each one:

 Hampton Road: Traffic backing right up Windsor – in fact it backs so far up that I’ve seen it back to the junction between Hampton and Balmoral, resulting in drivers abandoning turning left into Hampton and accelerating up Balmoral to the High Street. This increases the traffic at the Balmoral/Kingsmead/Hampton junction – at exactly the same place where there are two schools.

 Traffic at the Hampton/Balmoral junction – in fact, as seen here, it’s not just coming out of Hampton Road, it goes right back passed Hampton, down Windsor and sometimes way beyond Moreton Rd – even to Donnington Road, two junctions up!

 The gridlocked scene in Windsor Road, with a Waitrose lorry caught in the centre. Note the guy pushing a pushchair along the toxic fume infested street – poor kid! Also the motorcyclist who’s got cheesed off and is utilising the island to get past… imagine what would happen if somebody coming out of the car park got similarly cheesed off and cut around the traffic and turned right?...

Guess what? Just seconds later, this is exactly what happened! I heard the van emergency brake as it tried to turn into the car park entrance, then tooting, as the Ford (Focus?) emerged on the wrong side of the road, having bypassed the island on the wrong side of the road.

The Ford emerges from the car park – note the posture of the driver in the Waitrose truck in this and the previous photo – clearly he’s been stuck there for some time!

  Taken a few minutes later… and absolutely nothing has managed to move an inch!

24 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

jocypri said...

And it's like this every morning, and even worse on weekends. Surely looking at these pictures it's clear for anyone to see how this system is absolutely not working!!

guest ab said...

As has previously been discussed many times, the only solution is to sort out the through flow of traffic down Central Road and Malden Road to the A3. Parochial short term solutions will not work. Yes its annoying for residents but they have to put pressure on their local councillors to get an overall wide area solution,not just the road they live in. Because the problem will just go somewhere else and then other roads will be up in arms and so on and on. Putting the 'jam dodgers' through the car park out into Central Road will just delay further, those queuing in the Central Road/Cheam Common Road and causing problems in the Car Park to pedestrians etc.
Dont forget local elections are due in May 2014 therefore pressure should be put on the present elected members of Sutton and Kingston to jointly have a solution after discussions with TFL and maybe SCC (Epsom & Ewell) to cut down on the 'rat runs '.

Guest said...

Whilst this is clearly a problem, I would bet good money on Sutton Council not doing a thing about it due to the costs of reversing it and having to lose face over their stupid decision.

Mark my words, this system is here to stay.

I'll be VERY happy to be proven wrong though!

Share and share alike said...

Welcome to Longfellow Road this time last year!!!! I know, I live there.

Maybe we should have an annual rota of one way systems to divide the traffic jams between all of the local roads to be keep everyone happy (miserable).

To all the NIMBY's, traffic in WP is at a critical level, and a small change such as this demonstrates this very fact. Do not cloud the real issue, which is an urgent solution to the traffic problem in Worcester Park as a whole, and not just a street at a time!!

guest D said...

Whilst I agree that clearly a WP wide solution is needed, this evidence, I think shows the urgency of finding that solution.

From trying to get out of Longfellow road, I would estimate that around 40 cars an hour made it out Stone Place on to Central Road. These pictures and commentary suggest that the effect this change has had is much greater than that. To anyone that has studied chaotic systems, this indicates that the system is in prefail mode.

I stongly suspect before the end of next year if something isn't done that WP will have weekly traffic jams, I also suspect that reverting the scheme back may lead to that failure faster, I know that is counter intuitive but that is how chaotic systems behave.

Simon Densley (Consv Activist) said...

There was once a planned arterial road to go from Lower Morden Lane, past the cemetery, across the top of Green Lane, across the railway and continuing down to both the A3 and also to Leatherhead Road. See

I believe this idea needs to be revisited and if I and fellow Conservatives are elected next year we will push the council to look seriously at this. I have also started to build a rapport with the Conservative councillors across the council borders in Worcester Park (both Old Malden ward in Kingston and Lower Morden ward in Merton). We will need to work across several political boundaries to make a real solution stick.

Stewart Consv Mackay said...

This is something I have beating the drum about for a while on this blog. I am glad it is finally getting some exposure. The only solution for all of this misery will have to be via a cross boundary, town hall and TFL review. a permanent solution not just tinkering around the edges. Like my Dad says measure twice cut once ...

Mark said...

I know that this might sound a bit radical, a bit 'out there' but bear with me... Does anyone know if the council have considered employing professionals to manage Worcester Park's town planning?

We've been experimenting with using Gibbons with crayons for a number of years now and it seems that whilst they are great at spending 75% of the budget every March, the continual addition of new 'calming measures' is coming very close to turning Worcester Park into Downtown New York during Rush hour.

I believe that if we passed the work from the current planners to one of the local primary schools and asked them to undertake a revamp as a school project, we would see a significant improvement in traffic flow through the area!

graham said...

I don't think the councils are at all interested in helping traffic flow. Just look at mess that was made of New Malden High Street. The laybys at the side of the roads were reserved for parking, whilst bus stops were placed so that busses stopped in the centre of the road so that all the traffic had to wait whilst the busses loaded / unloaded.
Now Tolworth is becoming more difficult for drivers too. WP just seem to be following suit but (typically) with the lowest cost.
I think the morons who plan these assume that if they make it impossible to drive in the area we will either give it a miss, or use public transport. No wonder shops are closing down in our towns, we are being coerced into avoiding their places of business.

guest D said...

I'm glad we are reaching a consensus that it needs a broad approach. As without that I would have to pour cold water on Simon's suggestion (not that I want to). I've looked at the route he suggests and though feasible only around a 100 metres of it is in Sutton, so Kingston Upon Thames would get all the hassle, the loss of land the endless planning enquiries for Sutton's benefit.

That is why I feel strongly that London needs to move all its traffic issues to TFL to handle, it may well be that the A2043 is important enough that they are already responsible for it, but succesive governments have made it such a mish mash that it is not easy to tell.

Stewart Consv Mackay said...

Yes, Mark I agree a broad review is long overdue.

Barry Cullum said...

Perhaps you'd like to enlighten Mark, and the rest of us, as to what issues were more important to cause this broad review to be so long overdue?
It's not a loaded question. Just a straight simple answer will do.

Guest said...

Guest AB is absolutely right...what is needed is a solution to the flow of traffic all the way to the A3...because once you get past WP it is just as bad. The railway line compounds the problem...the only ways past it are Central Road or the A240. I wonder what would happen if the arch off Stoneleigh Avenue were opened to traffic? Still as long as it remains like this no mosque should get planning permission:-)

Martin said...

There is no answer really as it is proved more road space simply attracts more traffic after freeing up the bottleneck for a short time.......even if you could make the WP road dual carriageway all the way to the A3 many London bound drivers would then switch from using the dual carriage Ewell By Pass, Kingston Road etc to join the A3 (at Tolworth) and clog WP up again......
I like others study maps to work out torturous 'rat run' backway routes to keep moving around the WP area in the morning and evening....and see many others doing the same.

Stewart Consv Mackay said...

Hi Barry,

As the conservatives are not in government locally you would have to ask your local lib deb Cllr's...but... If I was being cynical I would say the review has been delayed (or never been brought up or mentioned before) because liberals dislike cars..However, , as a conservative and someone who actually needs to drive and unfortunately through Central Road towards Kingston ...the issue of traffic cannot be ignored or just tinkered with any longer. It needs a wholesale/ cross border review and I am pushing for election pledge on the issue. is that a straight enough answer?

guest D said...

Stewart, does that mean the aim of your review will be to get cars to Kingston faster rather than people?

Surely that should be the aim?

Simon Densley (Consv Activist) said...

Can we please not try to turn this into a pro-car / anti-car debate? Buses use roads too. We (your local Conservatives) are also trying to get CR2 trains to serve Worcester Park so we are generally trying to ensure people can get to wherever they need to go more easily by whichever means they personally prefer.

Sarah said...

Cutting across Green Lane and the railway is absolutely NOT the answer. It would create far more problems and would frankly be dangerous. Plus the only realistic way of doing it would be to start knocking down houses and why should people be kicked out of their homes for that. And why also would we want to put yet more children in danger by running a main road past the school or cause problems for the stables who use the area to ride the horses or lose the allotments. And all you would be creating is yet more rat runs and them some bright spark would come up with the idea of opening up the gate blocking the traffic coming through the Hamptons from Morden. Worst idea I have ever heard ever.

Alex said...

One point that seems to have been forgotten is that delivery vehicles are (despite starting deliveries at 5am) getting caught up in the middle of this artificial Windsor area gridlock. The other day, I saw not one but two HGVs trying to offload at Iceland simultaneously, before the building gridlock swamped and trapped them in the car park.
I wonder how long it will be before reports of this thoughtlessly implemented 'busted flush' of a one-way system reaches the ears and desks of Iceland's and Waitrose's senior management? The logistical nightmare of keeping the WP stores stocked must be seriously impairing both company's respective delivery networks, and that means eating into profits.

Unless they can get their deliveries in and out, closing down their Worcester Park branches may become both the only practical and most profitable option. Perhaps, at that point, when it's far too late, Sutton Council's "gibbons with crayons" might stick to drawing pictures, as opposed to bringing a road network to a complete halt?

Windsor Road resident said...

The consequences to  Windsor Road and other surrounding roads by the introduction of the one-way system are:
1) Pre-6-am noise disturbance from lorries servicing the car park/its surrounding businesses
2) Late night noise disturbance from  lorries delivering to and turning around in the car park.
3) Predominantly morning gridlock, which is unsafe for all due to frustrated driving (idiots yes, but reality) and the concentration of large and small vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians on a residential road. 
4) Exhaust emission and noise disturbance experienced by local residents especially due to the stationary and higher flow of vehicles all day and through the night.

Just to highlight the actual numbers of vehicles exiting Yoga Way onto Windsor Road. I know this is one day one time point but, on a Wednesday a five minute interval count, 11am = 29 cars; 12pm = 30 cars; 1pm = 40 cars. So if we loosely scale-up that's 30cars x 12 five mins = 360 cars per hour. I do admit very loose prediction, but at least based on some data, it would depress me to actually count for an hour! What one cannot deny, it's a high and relentless burden of vehicle numbers now forced onto a residential road.

Considering the above in concert, it's madness to retain the one-way system. I totally understand the greater WP traffic issue, but this is a micro-problem that needs resolving too. 

The OLF project team have a meeting next Thursday (Nov 7th) to discuss the review strategy for the one-way system. So watch this space. Yes local cllrs would have to admit a bad decision, which maybe none of us could have predicted (I'm being gracious), but there is a review, so let's review and if you are a local cllr and want some respect from your voters, look at the facts, listen to your local people and make the right decision.

guest D said...

I'm not but Stewart said that he would be taking a pro car stance. The only hope of a workable solution is to look at the merits and demerits of all forms of transport, a mixed solution will be the one that works best.

Certainly cars in the 1920s/30s were very much a solution, now they have become part of the problem, that is not an anti car statement but a recognition of reality.

Though I don't particularly like the idea, I think that Ernest Marples (conservative) had it right that road pricing would one day become essential and perhaps the Smeed Report he commisioned and accepted should be dusted off.

Barry Cullum said...


Thank you, your answer was about as straight as it could be.

Several years ago, when I lived in Kingshill Ave within the Kingston council sphere of WP, I had an interesting doorstep chat with a Lib representative.
I mentioned the sudden increase in time to pass through Malden Manor due to extra traffic lights and crossings around The Plough area, which had the knock-on effect of slowing down Central Road. He claimed it was Labour (who were in No.10 at the time) policy to slow down traffic and force people on to public transport... i.e. Labour disliked cars.
I disageed and pointed out that traffic decisions are local decisions, not national, and that Kingston was Tory controlled.
He then completely changed tack and implied that Kingston council were deliberately attempting to slow down traffic in Central Road... thus he was now having a bash at your party.

I am a Labour supporter, but I still wish you luck in getting control of Sutton at the next election. With Kingston being Tory controlled, and Epsom & Ewell near as dammit Tory controlled, I think it's the only way you're going to get any chance of cross border co-operation or indeed a successful general review of the traffic situation in the first place.

Barry Cullum said...

Thanks Sarah. I've been trying to think of a way of putting my input into this argument, and you've done it for me.
Whilst it may have been a great idea 70 years ago, things have now moved on. I'm sure that nowadays the cost of land acquisition would be prohibitive quite apart from the safety issues.... passing close to schools, rat-runs, and the like. Also, I'm sure the residents of Lower Morden wouldn't appreciate the extra traffic flow. It gets bad enough round there as it is.

Stewart Consv Mackay said...

Sorry to everyone in Donnington I didn't mange to get round to you I had so many interesting conversations that I severally overrun and nearly missed a wedding :-S
I will be in Donnington road next week.

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