Friday, August 28, 2009

Traffic pandemonium: just a sign of things to come?

Thanks to Thames Water who shut the Northbound Clifford avenue section to replace aging water mains the A205 South Circular in Richmond (This Is Local London), combined with Transport For London who revamped Richmond Circus to add more car lanes but still no cycle lanes (I'll post again on this) plus some more water mains replacement in White Hart Lane, Richmond was totally grid locked this summer.

Great planning guys....

One of the fundamental issues is that our borough has the plight of being sectionned by a train line with only a few crossings: a bridge on the Quadrant, another one in Church lane, a level crossing in Manor Road, a bridge on Clifford avenue and then some more level crossings in Sheen Road by Mortlake train station, White Hart Lane in East Sheen/Mortlake, Vine Road in Barnes. There are then only three bridges before Putney, including on Dryburgh road -which is closed during rush hours...

IFlowers placed by level crossing gates at Elsenham Station in Essex where Charlie Thompson and her friend Olivia Bazlinton died.'ve been lobbying long to get a footbridge in North Sheen and believe level crossings are a problem in general, I'm not the only one it seems according to this BBC article:

More people die on level crossings than in derailments or train crashes, killing on average one person a month.

Network Rail says that every year 2,000 people are reported to misuse level crossings with motorists ignoring warning lights or weaving round barriers.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers Union (RMT) says that even crossings with barriers and warning systems are unsafe and should be replaced with bridges or underpasses over a period of ten years.

The bad news is that it's only going to get worse for local residents, with longer wait at crossings if BAA gets their way.

Yes, BAA, the London Heathrow airport operator who's wanting to put more planes overhead. Because they just figured out that Heathrow is poorly deserved by trains. No, not really, the truth is that they are trying to curb on car mouvements around the aiport in order to land more planes without breaching too much the European directive on air quality (thank god for the EU). Insane? Yes, but these are the facts.

So, if Airtrack goes ahead the trains frequency will double -from 8 to 16- with no or little benefits for local residents as it's far from certain the extra trains will stop in North Sheen for instance, while Manor Road will be continuously clogged with a traffic jam caused by the level crossing barriers being shut for 45 minutes in one hour!

This is obviously not acceptable, and this train line should be buried under street level from Putney to Richmond. Period.

Our MP Susan Kramer is running a petition: The consultation closes on 18 September.

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