Council Takes Steps to Ease Traffic Congestion

After Boris Johnson finds local traffic objectionable

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In the Evening Standard this week, Simon Jenkins wrote congratulating Ealing Council on having done away with some of its traffic lights.

Apparently prompted by Boris Johnson who objected to the long minutes he spent waiting at traffic lights en route through the Borough, Ealing Council has announced that certain junctions will have their lights switched off or covered. A spokesman for the Council said: "At this stage, the council has identified where the priority junctions are across the borough that require congestion relief. Each of these junctions is listed in the cabinet report.

Cllr David Millicam said after a Cabinet meeting last month: “Many of the congestion issues around Ealing are caused by the junctions rather than the roads themselves. It tends to be the actual capacity of the junctions that causes the build up of traffic. Now that we have identified the priority areas and junctions in the borough, we can investigate what types of schemes will best provide congestion relief and then get the works underway.

“These works are part of the integrated programme to improve the overall flow of traffic in the borough. By first identifying where congestion is a major issue, we can now take a holistic approach by considering a wide range of options to improve each location.”

There is also news that changes to bus lanes, also aimed at easing traffic congestion, will be introduced shortly.

In his article, Simon Jenkins said: "Of all the places to start a revolution, the last on my list would be Ealing. Yet to Ealing goes the palm, spurred by a minor revolt in the equally unlikely Kensington and Chelsea."

He goes on to say that what he calls "the solid suburban burghers of Ealing" are making more forward-looking boroughs like Camden and the Islington look ashamed. However, he points out that the rest of Europe have been banning red lights for years: "London's 6,000 traffic lights are a costly, timewasting, polluting, infuriating, anti-technological emblem of a dead religion, that of pre-war traffic engineering."

A full list of the schemes to change junctions can be accessed here.

Some of the schemes have provoked controversy on and Forums.

The bus lane review plan follows last month’s decision to target key congestion hotspots across the borough. It will include a reduction in the hours of operation of 24/7 bus lanes on Uxbridge Road and The Vale/High Street at Acton to standard peak hours only.


May 21, 2009