The Traffic Light Review Moves Forward
Tonight at the Traffic Management Advisory Panel (TMAP) the first six junctions proposed to be changed under the traffic light review will be discussed. Earlier this year I announced a review of traffic lighted junctions across the Borough and invited the public to nominate the junctions that they most wanted to see changed. Over 100 submissions were received suggesting 28 junctions for either complete or partial removal of traffic lights. These junctions were reported to TMAP and the Transport Users Forum (TUF) and a process of review was started. Just 7 junctions were considered by officers to be inappropriate for removal of the lights, leaving 21 junctions for further consideration as to what changes might be possible.
The six junctions we will be discussing are from all areas of the town and include some major junctions:
1) King Street Junction with High Street (Jacksons Corner) – Removal of the signals on a trial basis, is supported by the bus company and the initial technical review of the junction. If the safety audit agrees then the removal of the signals can be accommodated within the current Town Centre works.
2) Gosbrook Road junction with Westfield Road – Removal of the signals has no technical implications and subject to a safety audit endorsement the signals can be removed. The cost of the removal should be minimal as only minimal kerb realignments are required but no funding is currently available but possible Section 106 payments (developers contributions) are being investigated.
3) London Road junction with Eldon Road – Removal of the “build out” currently restricting the London Road capacity at Eldon Road. Works will be minimal, are technically supported but subject to a safety audit and costs can be met from Section 106 funding received for the area from the University.
4) Basingstoke Road Bennet Road junction – Removal of the very complex signalisation and reallocation of road space. The removal of these signals will be a more complex scheme and officers are designing and costing up the signal removal and junction realignment before progress can be recommended and funding sought.
5) The Meadway / Combe Road junction – Removal of the second of two sets of signals is technically sound and can be carried out subject to a safety audit. This is relatively new equipment and may be re-useable elsewhere limiting the cost of the signals removal.
6) Henley Road junction with All Hallows Road – Review junction with the possibility of removing traffic signals and reverting to a give-way arrangement.
Each of these junctions has a final safety audit to be undergone and the funding identified for the changes but work is already in hand on the latter point and the total cost of the changes to the first five junctions is estimated at around £60,000. The political will exists to ensure that this process maintains momentum and I hope that all remaining 15 junctions will be reviewed by next spring so that a second batch of junctions can be considered.
It is worth noting that in parallel to this review I have also ordered a review of the A33 corridor between the IDR and Junction 11 of the M4 and there is also a comprehensive review of the whole of Labour’s Shinfield Road scheme which will report later this month.