CHISWICK AREA COMMITTEE - 13 JUNE 2001
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CHISWICK HIGH ROAD, LBPN & GREEN AREAS PROJECT, GOLDHAWK ROAD - CHISWICK LANE
REVIEW OF IMPLICATIONS OF MEMBERS AMENDING PROPOSAL
Report by: Director of Environmental Services
SummaryTo advise members of the issues of reviewing a previous decision to commence work on the highway scheme at the junction of Chiswick Lane and Chiswick High Road.
1.1 THAT MEMBERS NOTE THE IMPLICATIONS OF REVIEWING THE HIGHWAY SCHEME ON CHISWICK HIGH RD .
1.2 THAT MEMBERS VIEWS ARE REPORTED TO THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE.
2.1 The Chiswick Area Committee agreed in June 2000 to the progression of the design and public consultation for bus priority, cycle and pedestrians facilities as part of the London Bus Priority Network (LBPN) and Green Areas projects for Chiswick High Road between Goldhawk Road and Chiswick Lane North.
2.2 The final design and consultation was presented to the January 2001 meeting. A number of adverse comments and objections were made at the meeting by members. It was decided to delegate authority to implement to the Director of Environmenal Services following further discussions with the Chair with a view to seeking modifications to the scheme.
2.3 A meeting with the Chair took place on 23 January 2001 when a revised scheme was tabled which clarified parking meter configuration to ensure minimal loss of on-street parking in Chiswick High Road. A subsequent 'steering group' meeting with Councillors took place on 23 February 2001 when the proposals were explained in details. Various comments by members relating to the improvement of the corner of Chiswick Lane and Chiswick High Road were noted and acted upon. A further meeting on the 9 April was convened where the final design of the corner of Chiswick High Rd and Chiswick Lane and materials to be used were shown by officers to members to enable review and comment. A consensus was achieved for implementation.
2.4 Implementation of the bus priority lane in Chiswick High Road commenced in early April 2001 and the corner of Chiswick High Road and Chiswick Lane was commenced in May 2001 following agreement to proceed from the Chair of Chiswick Area Committee.
3.0 OBJECTIONS AND COMMENTS
3.1 Some members have continued to show an interest in the proposals by contacting officers during May when full explanations and clarifications of the status of the works was discussed. Shortly afterwards officers were asked to suspend the work to enable a review on the left turn movement from Chiswick Lane to Chiswick High Rd. The rest of the scheme continues to be implemented.
3.2 The substance of the issue for review was that the loss of the slip road had caused congestion in Chiswick Lane. Officers visited the site and concluded that on that occasion additional traffic was diverted to Chiswick Lane as a result of congestion on the A4. Ad hoc observations concluded that the substance of traffic data which formed the basis of the officer views stated in the January Committee meeting were correct and that a low proportion of vehicles turned left into Chiswick High Road. Any delays were slight as left turners were unable to gain access to the left turn lane. Ongoing modifications to the junction were continuing and at the present time standard articulated vehicles can carry out a left turn.
3.3 Status of Implementation. The minor realignment works drainage improvements and relocation of parking meters in Chiswick High Road are now substantially completed. Ducting to link the pre-signals to the junction signals has also been completed. The next phase is to construct the pre-signal islands and mount the new traffic signals.
Work had commenced on removing the slip road but has now been suspended pending the outcome of the Area Committee meeting. Some paving has been laid and kerbs have been installed on Chiswick High Road. Paving was removed from the footway outside the shops but has now been temporarily reinstated with bitmac to eliminate pedestrian hazards.
3.4 Approach lane marking have been temporarily marked to designate a left turn and a right turn lane at the junction of Chiswick Lane and Chiswick High Rd. The left turn will become a 2 headed arrow to designate left and right turns in the adopted scheme after the section of the east bound bus lane on Chiswick High Rd is removed. This will allow two lanes of cars to turn right instead of the current one lane and should reduce congestion on Chiswick Lane travelling northwards.
4.0 SCHEME RATIONALE
4.1 The traffic and queue counts carried out during the design phase indicated that queuing occurred throughout most of the day with queues extending back as far as 400 metres. Therefore the exit to the original slip road was blocked and left turners waited in the queue with the right turners.
4.2 The adopted scheme required vehicles to left turn at the traffic signals which may entail a minor delay but in overall terms is unlikely to have more than a minor effect on the overall queue length.
5.1 The total cost of the scheme for the environmental improvement to the corner with the removal of the left turn lanes is about £80,000 and is funded from either the Government Office for London or Transport for London. Up to the time that implementation was suspended, the value of the work carried out amounted to £5,000 with an additional £2,000 to safeguard the area and eliminate pedestrian hazards. Reinstatement to a similar condition before implementation would cost £10,000 - 12,000. It seems likely that the Council or Area Committee would have to fund any reinstatement should such a decision be made as the original funding is only for implementation of a project bid through the Interim Transport Plan by the Sustainable Development Committee. The views of the Area Committee will be reported to the Sustainable Development Committee
6.0 HEAD OF FINANCE COMMENTS
Reinstatement to the original condition would be to the disadvantage of pedestrians, cyclists the disabled as the paved area would permit easier access to some parts of Chiswick. Bus priority schemes are of particular benefit to passengers who are predominately women, children and those without access to a car.