|Marlborough Road Crossing Fiasco Continues|
Another delay to completion of 'dangerous' crossing on High Road
The ongoing saga over the road crossing on Chiswick High Road near Marlborough Road looks no nearer resolution as yet another delay has emerged.
The site is in limbo with the markings for a zebra crossing still in place. However the central reservation and the belisha beacons that were there have been removed to accommodate a bus lane. This has caused confusion with pedestrians believing a the crossing is still active whilst motorists are not recognising it. One local resident who survived a near miss on the crossing, "There seems to be a high probability of someone getting hurt/killed on that crossing as long as it remains unfinished."
The removal of the former crossing took place on the understanding that the new pelican crossing would be operational immediately. As far back as last November, Chris Calvi-Freeman, the Head of Transport at Hounslow Council, described the borough as having been 'badly let-down' by Transport for London (TfL) over delays to this project. They had confirmed to him that the signals for the new crossing would be in place several times but the project has never been completed.
In February TfL claimed that there had been a 'health and safety issue' with the mast arm that was delivered. Only one company makes these and so TfL said they needed to work with that company on a redesign rather than ordering from elsewhere. The mast arm would have supported the set of lights that would have been situated above the road. This is necessary because trees can obstruct the view of motorists of the lights at the side of the road. The problem has of obstructed vision has been made worse recently by the erection of construction scaffolding near the site.
Hounslow Council were then told the crossing would be operational by April. However, when this deadline was not met it was learned, following an inquiry by a member of the public, that the installation of the mast arm had been delayed due to the need to divert a gas main. This need emerged when trial holes were dug for the foundations of the mast arm. The latest from TfL is that it will take Transco at least until September to carry out this work.
Local councillors and Ann Keen MP have raised this issue with TfL who say that, as a result, it is being treated with a higher priority. The latest word from Hounslow Council is that discussions are continuing to 'expedite the switching on of the pelican signals'. It has been suggested that it may be possible to activate the signals at street level prior to the installation of the mast arm
It has been suggested that residents concerned about this issue should e-mail the Mayor directly to express concern about the continued delays. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 4, 2006