Thursday, November 20, 2008

A12 Issues

I have just finished a meeting with TfL representatives who came to update me on the projects affecting the A12 in Havering & Redbridge. Progress is being made and we should see some improvements in the coming twelve months.

Gallows Corner

Probably the greatest cause of complaints is the current snarl up at Gallows Corner, caused by the one way operation of the flyover. Earlier this year corrosion was discovered during a refurbishment and this resulted in partial closure.

Unlike most TfL highways structures, the flyover is unique, the only similar bridge being at Hogarth Roundabout on the A3. The new panels and supporting posts need to be designed from scratch and specially fabricated, hence the severe delay.

Detailed design work is scheduled for completion in February 2009 with work starting on site in April. This work will be finished and the site cleared in July, following which two way traffic can resume.

Gants Hill

The drains in the subways have now been cleaned out and the flooding problem which persisted for many years has been largely resolved. Two obstructions have been discovered in the drains and they will need digging up and clearing. This work is scheduled for late December.

A major scheme to improve the surface environment will start in July 2009 and run for a year, during which we can no doubt expect some traffic disruption. TfL are working closely with Redbridge Council and local businesses to keep delays to a minimum.

A proposed piece of public art has been the subject of some controversy between TfL and Redbridge, over who is going to fund the work. Whilst TfL will be paying for highways work where the art will be situated, they will not be paying for the art itself. With a limited budget and major projects being delayed, they do not see public art as a priority, and in the current economic climate I am inclined to agree with them.

Mawney Road Footbridge

The bridge at this junction was removed in 2005 after it was damaged by an overheight vehicle. Last year I presented a petition from local residents, asking for the bridge to be replaced, and since then I have reminded the mayor of their request several times.

TfL state that they will not be replacing the bridge - because of the disability discrimination act! The law now says that footbridges must have ramps, but there is insufficient space to accommodate them at this junction. So because wheelchairs would not be able to cross, nobody is allowed to cross, the law says. In my opinion the law is an ass!

Instead there will be a new crossing at road level with a pedestrian phase introduced at the lights. This will be constructed in spring / summer 2010. Five years without any means of crossing the road here can only be explained by the lack of interest the previous mayor showed in outer London and highways matters in general. I suspect that without the petition - promoted by local councillor Melvin Wallace - a new crossing would still not be a priority.

Barley Lane Footbridge

My thanks to former Redbridge councillor John Coombes, who let me know about the poor state of repairs on this bridge. I raised the issue with TfL who carried out a safety inspection on 6 November.

They identified corrosion of some steps and the surface 'shellgrip' but neither was bad enough to present a trip hazard. Nevertheless repairs are in hand and will take place during March 2009.


Anonymous said...

"Public art"? Please don't feel obliged to spend money desecrating the landscape.

Roger Evans said...

You might say that...

morris hickey said...

I had not intended the post at 8.50 am to be "anonymous" - simply clicked on the wrong place.

Roger Evans said...

I think some people might have guessed...

judith said...

I really don't want my money wasted on 'public art' at Gants Hill. This is a very busy roundabout, and despite the welcome addition of traffic lights, motorists will need to pay 100% attention to traffic conditions and not be distracted.

As for pedestrians, quite frankly, it's hardly the sort of area where people saunter around for pleasure, admiring the attractive architecture and verdant scenery, so adding 'public art' is pointless.

What might improve everyone's outlook is if Redbridge Council took more care about the built environment when giving permission for shop signage, upkeep of pavements, installation of appropriate street furniture and signage, planting of trees etc.

morris hickey said...

........... and huge blocks of grotty flats that, so far, have stopped just short of straddling the roads; but just watch......

Yet another area that, like Barkingside High Street, is acquiring TfL funded (ie filched from our wallets) traffic "improvements" that are no more than a prolonged traffic jam.

Anybody keen to acquire a national bravery award might well qualify by strangling TfL.

David Grantham said...

Re TFL not feeling able to put in the Mawney footbridge because it won't meet disability requirements, an excellent example of "the perfect is the enemy of the good".