Thursday, 31 July 2008

Victoria Traffic Lights Part II

Now that Kent Highways have removed their equipment, local residents are left with the finished Victoria Traffic Lights. The works were designed to improve traffic flows and make it easier for pedestrians to get around the junction without risking safety. Has that been acheived?

Well, yes and no. For sure adjusting the traffic light system to create a three step traffic flow system has sped up the traffic flows and there seem to be less tailbacks generally, with one exception where traffic builds up going from Westwood Cross though nobody expected that tailback to be solved.

However, cars are still perfectly able to turn right off (upper) College Road onto Ramsgate Road, something which has caused an awful lot of trouble for pedestrians and led to a raft of near misses. Only by sheer luck has worse been avoided. Where the traffic flows have been adjusted at Beatrice Road, there are now effectively two differently moving lanes to be crossed in one go. It means that traffic turning left and going straight ahead goes first then immediately after they stop, the cars turning right from the same road go. This can catch pedestrians off balance and caught me out yesterday. Ive already heard complaints about this.

While a proper pedestrian crossing has been made at the Victoria Pub-Victoria Parade crossing, there is not one for those going from the pub to Andrew and Jills. This is a key crossing for school pupils and has been a dangerous crossing for many years, especially since the Victoria Pub sits on a blind corner.

I and many local residents were under the impression that islands were to be placed on the two main crossing points across Ramsgate Road in order to make it easier for pedestrians to cross it safely. These have not appeared and I wonder why such an impression was put around if they werent to appear. In my honest opinion I do not believe that local concerns have been dealt with properly and that however easy it might be for traffic flows, safety for pedestrians must be put in balance and that has not happened with these works. I believe more work will need to be conducted to make this junction safer.

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