Traffic

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A Traffic Forecast for Northwood

Residents of Northwood will be only too aware of the increasing number of vehicles driving around or through our town.

Probably two of the main “pinch” points are school drop-off and pick-up times each weekday when many roads around Northwood especially parts of Green Lane and Maxwell Road become virtually impassable.

St Helen’s school own car park is often closed at these hours after it becomes quickly full and signs divert cars into Northwood along Green Lane where they rapidly clog up Green Lane in the Rowland Place area. The arrival, waiting and departure of large school buses at these hours do nothing to help the situation. Its good news that schools in Northwood are busy but Northwood town is paying a price.

Another main “pinch” point is the set of traffic lights by Northwood Underground Station especially at school times and also at rush hour times morning and late afternoon. The flow of large volumes of traffic along Green Lane in both directions is held up by these traffic lights but actually most Northwood residents will be familiar with this problem for much of the day as its evidently not confined to peak hours. The pollution levels at these busy hours suffer inevitably from the volume of traffic but when combined with waiting at traffic lights the pollution problem and health risks can only get worse at the times when many residents are walking to and from schools or going to the station to travel to work and return home.

The Tfl proposals are at the time of writing, not very clear as regards traffic management issues however, its clear that Tfl wish to introduce another set of traffic lights into Green Lane (towards St Helen’s school) about 50 yards further along from the existing traffic lights by the Station.

Under the Tfl proposals Station Approach will disappear and the narrow pedestrian alley way currently Central Way (between Lee Gardens and Taylor Made shops) will be widened considerably (see footnote) flanked by 4-storey buildings) to become a two way access road in and out of the proposed new Tfl estate. This new road will take all the buses, taxis, commuter parking cars and the new Tfl estate’s residents’ cars. Hence, the Tfl need for another set of traffic lights at this new junction. The extra traffic delays, traffic confusion and additional pollution caused by yet more waiting traffic will not be to the liking of Northwood residents. Even likely comments from Tfl that the two sets of traffic lights will be synchronised will not eliminate these extra issues.

A further complication and additional burden on this new road system along Green Lane will be yet more new traffic arising from a click-and-collect facility that will probably be installed at the Station in the future. In a public statement Tfl have said

“Our Click and Collect partnership with the retailers has been a tremendous success for all involved, and we are delighted to be expanding the service to more locations, making it easier for more customers to order their goods and conveniently collect them at their chosen station.”

 Tfl have (perhaps conveniently) not said yet whether they plan to roll out this “tremendous success” to Northwood and, if so, the level of additional traffic and traffic pollution that we might expect in Green Lane. We hope that Hillingdon Council will seek a statement from Tfl as to when such an additional facility like click-and-collect will come and the extent of additional traffic to be expected in Green Lane around the underground Station.

Overall – traffic is bad news through Northwood today – and under the new proposed Tfl scheme is likely to get markedly worse.

Footnote:

The dimensions for the new Central Way ex TFL. The present Central Way is public footpath No.184.

The proposed Central Way has carriageway dimensions of approximately 6.6m – this is at its narrowest point as the two-lane carriageway widens as it approaches the junction with Green Lane. We are proposing 2m minimum pedestrian footways to support this carriageway (although the maximum width of the pavement in places is approximately 3.8m).

 

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