Tonight our two local papers are taking a different approach to a news story that the Ealing Times in particular has been trying to keep in front of you all. Today we issued a press release that explained that we are going to remove six box junctions at T-junctions which are painted right across the road. I guess that the Gazette is in catch-up mode as it is not really their story. They have pretty much published our press release verbatim, see here. We went to some trouble to spell out the merry dance that we have been led by the Department for Transport (DfT) on this subject. To say that we are exasperated with them would be an understatement.
The Ealing Times has simply ignored the DfT angle. They are being dishonest and need to sort themselves out. As a rule I don’t want to use my blog as an extension of my role as portfolio holder but I didn’t want the Ealing Times to get away with only telling half the story this time.
Here is Ealing’s statement:
Ealing Council to remove six yellow box junctions
Ealing Council has today announced it will remove six of the borough’s yellow box junctions.
Cabinet Member for Customer and Community Services, Councillor Phil Taylor, said: “Following a meeting with the Department for Transport in June we understood that double width yellow boxes could be placed at the T-junctions, as long as there was sufficient traffic flow in the area. We provided additional data and fully expected the DfT to confirm they were happy. Now eight months after we originally approached them, they appear to be suggesting this is not the case, but have still failed to provide us with a report setting out their position, despite repeated requests.
“It is ridiculous that it has taken the Government department which sets the rules so many months to interpret its own manual and we still have not received a definitive response. This just underlines how unclear the regulations are.
“Congestion is one of the top concerns highlighted in our annual residents’ survey. The yellow box junctions were introduced several years ago to respond to those concerns and we still believe their installation was appropriate and that they are the most effective way of preventing gridlock on the borough’s major roads.
“However, we feel we are now left with no alternative but to suspend enforcement on these six junctions with immediate effect and remove them from the road. ”
Notes to editors
Ealing Council is committed to improving traffic flows and will continue to progress a number of other schemes across the borough to reduce congestion, including projects at Petts Hill Bridge and the Target Roundabout. We will monitor the situation to see what impact the removal of these yellow boxes has on traffic movement in the borough.
The junctions which are affected are the double width yellow box T-junctions at the following locations:
– South Road junction St Joseph’s Drive, Southall
– South Road junction Cambridge Road, Southall
– South Road junction Hamilton Road, Southall
– High Street junction Avenue Road, Southall
– Uxbridge Road junction Lower Boston Road Hanwell – right turn out
– The Broadway junction The Mall, Ealing
Anyone who has paid a penalty charge notice since the DfT’s revised guidance was issued verbally on Thursday, 30 October, will be refunded.
Any unpaid fines for those junctions will not be pursued by the Council.