Those of you who have very recently travelled down Waldegrave Road expecting to see 10 new public parking spaces outside London Square, and the return of the 8+ of our original public parking spaces on the other side, will have been horrified at seeing that about 120 metres of bright double yellow lines have been painted to prevent any parking at any time, day or night. To make matters worse, a large central refuge is being put in place directly outside the front doors of London Square, presumably to make absolutely certain that local residents will never get their parking spaces back.
There was a central refuge closer to Claremont Road, which was put in place a few years back, mainly to reduce traffic speeds on the approach to Teddington Park, whose residents did not feel safe when trying to turn right into Waldegrave Road. A combination of the refuge and parked vehicles created a chicane affect which significantly reduced traffic speeds. The new location does the opposite, it ensures a completely clear run for traffic in both directions, which will undoubtedly give rise to much higher speeds in both directions.
The original refuge was removed about two years to allow builders’ vehicles and equipment to access the site, unfortunately, the new refuge design and location is the worst of all worlds – much better and safer for all options are available, with minimal loss of parking spaces. For example, the maximum pedestrian footfall across the road is likely to be in the vicinity of the St Mary’s University Library and the offices opposite, so why not a Zebra Crossing somewhere near there? That would give us all our parking spaces back and increase pedestrian safety. The latest state of the art designs for Zebra Crossings involve building out the kerbs with short Zig Zags so that pedestrians can see approaching traffic, and approaching traffic can clearly see them. Some of them involve a central refuge, but that can cause confusion at times, with some drivers failing to recognise that although the Zebra Crossing is in two halves, it is a single crossing. The safest version is a narrower Zebra Crossing without a central refuge, such as that on Stanley Road, by Stanley Primary School.
The Teddington Society was at no stage consulted about these yellow lines, nor about the central refuge, and has no idea who, if anyone, was consulted. It is hard to believe that local Councillors, knowing about the importance of retaining all public parking spaces, would agree to the loss of almost 20 parking spaces, and certainly local residents would not agree their loss either.
I shall be writing to local Councillors and Councillor Stephen Speak to find out more, and ask for a complete review of the arrangements currently being put in place, with a view to the installation of a much safer Zebra Crossing at a more suitable location.
Content supplied by Brian Holder, Leader, Teddington Society Roads & Transport Group.