Local Issues

Traffic Lights Official Notice

East Barnet Road / Margaret Road Junction Traffic Lights

Official notices, dated 20th February 2008, appeared on street furniture* near the traffic lights at the junction of East Barnet Road and Margaret Road.


The text of the notice:

"The London Borough Of Barnet
Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 Section 23

Pedestrian Crossing

In order to reduce delays to road users and in order to ensure consistency for pedestrian crossing facilities along East Barnet Road, the Council of the London Borough of Barnet is proposing to provide a new zebra crossing in East Barnet Road outside property number 104 and to remove the traffic lights at the junction with Margaret Road.

The works will involve:
- the provision of a pedestrian refuge island and zebra crossing.
- the provision of high friction surfacing on the approaches to the crossing.
- the provision of a 'Stop' sign and associated road markings on the western arm of Margaret Road.
- the removal of the traffic lights in East Barnet Road junction with Margaret Road.

The new zebra crossing will provide assistance to pedestrians in this section of East Barnet Road.

Any comments regarding this proposal should be sent to The Director of Environment and Transport, Highways Group, 2nd Floor, Building 4, North London Business Park, Oakleigh Road South, London, N11 1NP quoting reference ZC/CB/60500 - East Barnet Road - Margaret Road.

Mike Freestone
Director of Environment and Transport
London Borough of Barnet
20 February 2008"


*The notices were not attached to the actual crossing, where pedestrians might actually see and read the signs when they press the button to cross, but on lamposts a few metres away.


Updates

It became clear that the actual reason for the planned removal of the lights was purely financial. TfL charges Barnet for maintenance on a 'per aspect' basis (75 per lamp annually). It is therefore attractive to councils to remove traffic lights and pedestrian crossings to save money. TfL had some unspent budget available to pay for signal removals. However the work had to be done by the end of the financial year - hence the haste and deliberate lack of publicity. Three sets of traffic signals were proposed for removal: East Barnet Road / Margaret Road, Station Road / Warwick Road and Great North Road / Lyonsdown Road.

Despite the lack of official publicity about this proposal, a number local people wrote in to object. The parents of young children attending St Margaret's Nursery were particularly concerned. Located just 50m from the junction, the borough's largest Nursery School had not been consulted directly.

A letter dated 9th April 2008 from Mike Freestone, director of environment & transport, contained the following:

"Thank you for your letter to the Council regarding your concerns over the proposal to remove the traffic signals at the above junction and to revert it back to priority controls and add a zebra crossing across East Barnet Road.

Having carried out further investigation into the feasibility of the proposals, and carefully considered the issues raised by residents in response to the street notices erected at the junction, the Council does not propose to progress the scheme at the present time.

The Council will however continue to look at the ways of improving the road network in the borough and may look at this location again in the future."

Remains of traffic signal poles on pavement in Station Road with 'consultation' notices still attached

The traffic lights and pedestrian crossings at the junction of East Barnet Road and Margaret Road will remain at present, however Barnet have not ruled out attempting to remove them in the future.


The pelican crossing in Station Road (near the Warwick Road junction) was removed and replaced by a zebra crossing. In mid April 08 the removed traffic signal poles were still lying on the pavement with the official 'consultation' notices still attached.


In March 08, belisha beacons were errected alongside the pelican crossings on the Great North Road (near the Lyonsdown Road junction). In April 08 these new belisha beacons were removed and the pelican crossings remain in use.