Thursday, 17 July 2008

Victoria Traffic Lights

Following Tony Flaig's comments on Kent Highways I think now is the time to have a good old moan about the traffic lights round where I work, namely the Victoria Road Traffic Lights and the work Kent Highways has been doing.

The Victoria Traffic Lights have had some serious problems with pedestrian safety and confusion over traffic flows being the key. Traffic regularly ignored the signs saying that you cant turn right when coming down College Road onto Ramsgate Road, meaning that cars turn right while pedestrians are crossing, leading to a number of near misses and only through sheer luck has there not been any run downs.

The plans indicated that there would be a number of improvements installed such as more islands to allow safe crossing and a MOVA traffic light system that would be able to adjust its traffic settings as it learns the traffic flows. All laudible for sure. Unfortunately it seems that problems have been found during the works and delays have appeared. So serious have the problems been that a dozen Highways workers descended on the junction on Sunday morning last week to get the work moving again. Rumours are that someone gave a metaphorical boot up the backside of some workers.

Poor laying on the pavement has meant that there could well be some complaints in the future by one business which appears to have had part of its forecourt tarmaced over and drains seem to have had the same treatment. More recently a pedestrian island has appeared between the already existing island outside the former Victoria Dry Cleaners and the non-shop corner. This seems to be a mistake on first glances because I dont recall there ever being any particular safety issues with those crossings, save those that the pedestrians made for themselves by risking an early crossing. It seems to me that maybe Highways has made a terrible mistake and put a crossing where its not needed. I understand that islands were to be placed between the non shop corner and the Victoria Parade and between the Victoria Pub and the former Golden Carp Fish Bar. They were the crossings that were required most but have not yet appeared. The temporary traffic lights have also been poorly placed leading to safety issues at key crossing points for pedestrians.

Local residents have been very patient indeed waiting for these works and hope that this will come out. But Kent Highways really needs to consider its scheduling of works so that the work gets done efficiently and properly. I know its not easy for those carrying out the works and I sympathise with them, but it needs doing and it needs doing properly.

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