Roundabout plan mainly inadequate
I AM pleased that the Mayor of London via TFL has considered some improvement work of Swakeleys Roundabout on the A40 in Uxbridge.
I live close to the roundabout and frequently drive, cycle or walk around it. I have reviewed the proposed improvements and am sorry to conclude that they are so minor or cosmetic that they seem to be based an inadequate understanding of the activities on the roundabout. I believe most of the proposals should be withdrawn and the cost savings used to better purpose.
The following details the items that should be completely withdrawn 1: The three widened and signalised pedestrian and cycle crossings should be left as Belisha controlled crossings as at present. This is because:
(a) The two set of crossings on the west side of the island are very rarely used since the Swakeleys Road is very narrow and totally not cycle friendly along its length. A good, safe and convenient alternative for cyclists and pedestrians exists nearby (see later).
(b) The two sets of crossings on the east side are again almost totally unused since a good, safe and convenient alternative exists.
(c) The proposed lights on the sliproad leaving the island can only delay traffic. They should be left unchanged.
(d) The proposed lights on the sliproad leading to the island on the east side may assist traffic flow but will then increase the current backlog of traffic onto the high speed motorway will vastly increase the likelihood of major accidents.
2: The improved cycle track proposed around the island west side is totally unnecessary as the present track is perfectly usable and requires no “improvement”
The existing and better alternative to 1a (above) is on the east side of Park Road, opposite to the adjacent Harefield Road junction.
It has a full set of traffic signals on Park Road which lead pedestrians and cyclists onto a traffic-free, paved and lit cycle/footpath which leads along a sports field and woodland to a wide footbridge across the A40 and on to Warren Road and directly to Vyners Schools and a convenient route to the centre of Ickenham and the road to Ruislip.
This paved footpath is heavily used by all and eliminates the need to cross the A40 sliproads. This cycle/ footpath is only around 50 metres from the path which crosses the A40 and is not shown on the map and makes the proposed crossing on the east section of the A40 almost totally redundant. It also reduces the need to use the south section crossings.
The other minor landscaping improvements are welcome but hardly worthwhile. The claim that the proposals will “help manage additional vehicles associated with the construction of HS2” is a claim which is difficult to identify or justify. In summary, the proposed improvements are mainly inadequate and poorly conceived. Most of the proposals should be reconsidered and the cost savings used to better purpose.
Frank Rhodes Uxbridge