A request for the implementation of a roundabout in this location
pointing out the many points in favour of such a scheme.

Letter 01

REQUEST FOR, AND POINTS IN FAVOUR OF, A ROUNDABOUT
AT THE JUNCTION OF BRIDGE ROAD AND NORTHEND ROAD

14/08/01

Dear Sir,

For many years now it has seemed that residents of Slade Green could benefit from having a roundabout at the junction of Bridge Road and Northend Road. Listed below are some of the points in favour.

Less strain on the already congested Thames Road and Thames Road / Northend Road roundabout
The top end of Thames Road, eastbound, will be less congested due to traffic trying to access Slade Green via Howbury Lane. Vehicles will no longer have to merge with this traffic flow which is at times barely moving and instead come straight down Bridge Road. There will also be less traffic build up along Northend Road, southbound, and around the Thames Road / Northend Road roundabout, due to traffic trying to exit Slade Green for Erith as traffic will no longer have to double back around this roundabout.

Less traffic along Howbury Lane and Whitehall Lane
Less inconvenience to local residents who live in Howbury Lane and Whitehall Lane. Howbury Lane and Whitehall Lane are not major roads; they are completely residential and not primarily intended for heavy traffic. As cars park by the roadside, and this is also a bus route, extra vehicles using the route just add to problems for residents, buses and vehicles alike, the road does not cope well with what is currently expected of it and vehicles can often get stuck. A roundabout at the top of Bridge Road would be a more direct route for vehicles and would alleviate pressure on Howbury Lane and Whitehall Lane improving the quality of life for all residents and making access to Slade Green easier for everyone.

Less traffic build up along Manor Way
One alternative for vehicles heading for Erith is to leave Slade Green via Manor Road, a route that has itself been more congested since both the removal of the Queen's Road / Avenue Road roundabout and the blocking of access to Abbey Breakers, etc, via Appold Street. A roundabout at the top of Bridge Road would mean not so many vehicles having to use the Manor Road option to exit Slade Green.

Less traffic using Newbery Road and the Nursery to cut through to Erith
Vehicles currently also use Newbery Road and The Nursery in order to cut through to the roundabout at Larner Road and exit towards Erith, some vehicles speed along Newbery Road in the process. Newbery Road, The Nursery and Arthur Street are all residential areas and a roundabout at the top of Bridge Road would alleviate this problem thereby making life safer and more comfortable for the residents.

Less traffic build up along Northend Road and around the Larner Road Roundabout
A roundabout at the top of Bridge Road would mean less traffic build up along Northend Road, southbound, due to traffic entering Slade Green by doubling back around the roundabout at Larner Road.

Quicker and easier access to Slade Green
At the moment, the absence of a roundabout at the top of Bridge Road adds an extra two to three minutes to a journey when entering Slade Green, either by driving around Howbury Lane and Whitehall Lane or doubling back along the dual carriageway around the roundabout at Larner Road. The distance involved in doubling back along the dual carriageway is an extra half a mile in each direction. If journey times can be expedited it means less traffic on the roads at any one time and ultimately less congestion and less pollution. We look forward to your consideration of the above points and hope you find this paper to be positive and agreeable.

Yours faithfully,

DJ Tarrant

No reply received


Having not had a reply to the first letter, we wrote again, this time to the Chief Engineer,
to request a progress report on the considerations for implementation of this scheme.

Letter 02

RE: REQUEST FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF A ROUNDABOUT AT THE
JUNCTION OF BRIDGE ROAD AND NORTHEND ROAD, SLADE GREEN

14/05/02

Dear Mr Morley,

Last year we wrote to your department requesting the implementation of a roundabout at the junction of Bridge Road and Northend Road, in Slade Green. We listed many advantages in the original letter, a copy of which is attached. Amongst these advantages were, the aiding of a reduction in traffic congestion for the surrounding area and improving the ease for residents trying to get in and out of Slade Green. There were numerous other advantages also giving much weight to the validity of such a request. Such a roundabout would also have a traffic calming effect on the vehicles travelling along Northend Road. Could somebody please therefore inform us as to what progress has been made in this area and when we can perhaps expect to see this scheme implemented? We were disappointed that this scheme was not implemented when the dual carriageway was restructured some years ago and the central reservation taken up, in fact, it appeared at the time that this was why the work was being carried out. However, after the work was done, no roundabout had materialized. Even though this was a missed opportunity, the need for such a scheme is still as great as ever and we would hope the implementation of this scheme should not pose too much of a problem compared to the benefits it would yield.

Please note that our request is for a roundabout with independent pedestrian crossing and not a controlled lighting system. We are definitely not in favour of such controlled lighting systems and feel that it is not a good thing that several perfectly good junctions and roundabouts in the area have been replaced and, or, adversely affected by the addition of controlled lighting, which has been a poor and ineffective substitute. We hope to be drawing the Council's attention to some of these instances, because, any schemes that are less effective and less efficient in the processing of traffic are a step towards additional congestion and pollution, as well as increased journey times. We hope you would agree that, in today's climate, it is essential that we move towards more efficient ways of processing traffic and not less so. In the mean time we look forward to your consideration of the implementation of the above scheme which we feel will definitely be of benefit to the residents of Slade Green as well as the through traffic. We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

DJ Tarrant


The eventual reply from Bexley Council showed no real grasp of what was being requested by us.
In fact it talked about a bus initiative, completely missing the point of what was being said.

Letter 02 Reply

21 June 2002

Dear Mr Tarrant

REQUEST FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF A ROUNDABOUT AT THE JUNCTION OF
BRIDGE ROAD AND NORTHEND ROAD, SLADE GREEN

Thank you for your recent letter and comments about the junction of Bridge Road and Northend Road. Investigations have been carried out at the junction the most recent being an investigation in connection with bus access.

A London Bus Initiative (LBI) study has been undertaken investigating the potential benefits of making changes to the junction and concluded that there were no net benefits in introducing the scheme. This confirms earlier studies that the balance of benefits supports the existing arrangement rather than the introduction of a junction using either signals or a roundabout.

The Northend Road forms part of the South Thames Development Route which is a strategic route and plays a major part in the councils overall strategy and its plans to regenerate and improve access to the north of the borough. While the junction may appear to have potential to benefit from the introduction of a roundabout or signalised junction, the Council's view based on extensive investigation at the time the road was constructed is that the extra delay to through traffic and potential increase in accidents would outweigh any potential benefits for local access.

We do accept that currently there is an element of inconvenience in having to double back along the dual carriageway, however the road is generally free flowing and actual journey times to complete this manoeuvre are short.

Thank you again for taking the time to send your comments to us. I am sure that the arrangement at this junction will be reviewed again in the future as circumstances change and your comments will be given due consideration at that time.

Yours sincerely

Will Umney
Transportation Planning


A reply to the above letter pointing out that the Council had completely failed to note the points we had put forward.

Letter 03

RE: REQUEST FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF A ROUNDABOUT AT THE
JUNCTION OF BRIDGE ROAD AND NORTHEND ROAD, SLADE GREEN

08/08/02

Dear Mr Morley,

Thank you for your department's letter dated 21st June, from Mr Umney.

However, I must express serious concern at the fact that none of the key points raised in our letter have been addressed. I reiterate these points below so as to remind you of them and their validity.

  • Less strain on the already congested Thames Road
  • Less strain on Thames Road / Northend Road roundabout, eastbound
  • Less traffic along Howbury Lane and Whitehall Lane
  • Less traffic build up along Manor Way, westbound
  • Less traffic using Newbery Road and the Nursery to cut through to Erith
  • Less traffic build up along Northend Road between Bridge Road and Larner Road, both directions
  • Quicker and easier access to Slade Green
  • Traffic calming effect on Northend Road

The reply we received about an investigation relating to the consideration of a bus route was completely irrelevant to any of the points listed above. Presumably the 'net benefits' referred to in the reply would relate to buses and not have anything to do with the benefits to residents that we have listed. We are offering a serious argument, backed up with reasoned and sound analysis and fail to see how your department can argue that there is no good reason for such a scheme when we have provided a whole list of such. The point the department made about the implementation of this scheme causing additional congestion and additional delay is not a true observation and sounds like an expression that has just been 'plucked from the air'. In actual fact, the provision of a roundabout would not cause additional congestion or additional delay but, as we have pointed out, would relieve congestion in several places, provide a more direct and expedient route in and out of Slade Green, and give relief to local residents.

If your department is going to offer a counter argument as to why such a scheme should not be implemented at least make it a worthy one that will stand up to examination. I have lived in this area for many years and have seen additional congestion caused by many retrogressive traffic schemes. We are in the process of analysing some of these and have already written to the Transport Planning Department with regard to several. It is essential nowadays to make traffic schemes as efficient as possible. Recent trends have been moving in the other direction. If local authorities don't know what to do for the best, they should take on board reasonable suggestions from members of the public, and should not be giving off a pretentious, know-it-all attitude, whilst offering poorly thought out, unsound arguments, and letters full of nonsense. If we are going to be denied such a scheme, we expect a reasoned argument superior to the one we have put on the table, and attributed with as much careful thought. We look forward to hearing from you with regard to such, otherwise we would still like to see this scheme implemented and would appreciate it if somebody can give it the consideration it deserves. Thank you.

Yours faithfully,

DJ Tarrant

No reply received


Summation

Bridge Road Roundabout - Summation

What can one say? We never received a reply to the last letter and yet this scheme has been crying out to be implemented for many years. There are so many advantages and points in favour of its realisation that one just cannot see why it hasn't already been done years ago. Just about everybody on Slade Green would, dearly like to see, and greatly benefit from, its implementation, and all of these things have been pointed out to Bexley Council. So why hasn't it been done? Who knows!