Chiswick Lane Slip Road Under Review

New plan could see it return as bus gate is removed

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Plans have been drawn up that could see the return of the slip road on the junction of Chiswick Lane and Chiswick High Road. The road was paved over as part of a controversial scheme put in place in 2001 which also saw the implementation of a bus gate near the same junction. This is now scheduled to be removed by the end of the year after many delays. Councillors have asked transport officials to look into the feasibility of reinstating the slip lane at the same time as the bus gate is removed and the lights have been rephased.

A report by Council Officers shows that the original scheme had a very detrimental effect on traffic flows at this junction. Although it was busy before the scheme, the queuing both northbound on Chiswick Lane and westbound on Chiswick High Road increased dramatically when the new system was introduced. The main reason was that the positioning of the bus gate so close to the junction restricted the flow of traffic west bound meaning that a longer phase for the traffic lights on this section was necessary. In turn this meant that the phasing going north from Chiswick Lane was unduly short.

One consequence of the queues was that traffic attempted to rat run through Devonshire Road. Traffic calming measures were considered to prevent this but were thought likely to be ineffective.

New phasings are proposed which are anticipate to increase junction capacity in both directions. Council officers originally argued that this would improve flows without the need to consider reopening the slip lane. However, councillors requested that a feasibility study be conducted into reopening the road. A consultation in 2005 showed that over 80% of respondents favoured the return of the slip road. The resulting report recommended that a 'traffic calmed' slip road be considered. This would be narrower than the road that was formerly there. The cost of reinstatement was £65,000. Transport for London have refused to pay the costs because it there policy only to fund such changes where they are a direct benefit to public transport.

The new layout of the junction is dependent on Transport for London's confirmation of the installation date for the new signals at the bus depot entrance and replacement signals at Chiswick Lane. It is anticipated that this will be sometime next month. Once these signals are operational the bus gate removed and the hope is the whole project will be completed before Christmas.

The report on the new proposals are due to be considered at the Chiswick Area Monitoring committee on September 20th.

September 16, 2006