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Millican_david Cllr David Millican, Cabinet Member for Transport and Regeneration on Ealing Council, on radical plans to tackle traffic congestion in his borough.

Ealing’s Conservative Council is committed to smoothing the flow of traffic on the roads of our borough.  Residents have said, through the most recent annual Residents’ Survey, that they are fed up with traffic congestion.

The pinch points are at the junctions and cause the most congestion. So Ealing Council is doing something about it.  We’re just using common sense and not spending vast amounts of money.  Small changes will have a big effect.

How many times have we waited at a junction and nothing is happening? No cars are moving, no pedestrians are crossing.  Nothing. Just wasted time, adding to our frustrations. So we will bag over some traffic lights and allow motorists and pedestrians to trust each other. We’ll put in some mini-roundabouts, give-way signs and zebra crossings.  This will allow a more constant flow of traffic and
pedestrians. We’ll still need traffic lights on the really busy junctions, particularly on the main roads. So to start with, we’ve selected some junctions on busy roads.

How many times have we been stuck next to a bus lane at a junction with no bus in it?  So we’ll adjust the length of some bus lanes, to allow more cars and buses through.

How many times have you been caught on a busy road where two buses are pulled up at bus stops directly opposite each other, allowing barely anyone to get by?  So we’ll get the bus stops moved a few yards to stagger them.

Along the length of the Uxbridge Road there are eight different time restrictions on usage of bus lanes.  Eight. How can anyone ever know whether we can or cannot drive in the bus lane? So Ealing Council will bring some order to them by having just three variations. And none will be permanent 24-hour bus lanes. Clearly the idea of bus lanes is to allow buses to run smoothly along our roads. Nothing Ealing Council does would slow them down.

Obviously we can’t do any of this without ensuring that pedestrians can cross the roads safely. So the changes will be sensitive to that. We’ll install some zebra crossings and pelican crossings or move
others to a better place.

Some of these schemes, at some junctions, may not work, so the changes will be done initially as experiments.  If they work they’ll stay, if they don’t they’ll go.

To make some changes we’ll need the support of Transport for London and the Mayor Boris Johnson has been supportive.

We’ve got other ideas, which we’d like to consider.  How many times have we been kept waiting late at night on a red light with no other cars at the junction? We’d like to introduce flashing amber lights, so we can cross with caution.  There are plenty of junctions like this on the continent and in America, but not in this country.  That would need Government regulations to change, so we’ll be asking TfL to approach the government.

All we want is for the traffic on our roads to run more smoothly and pedestrians to cross safely.

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