Crayford High Street

Crayford High Street is one of three main routes south from London through Dartford. Two of these suffer from serious bottlenecks. Thames Road, due to the need for the extension of the dual carriage way and widening of the railway bridge, and Crayford High Street, due to the implementation of a wholly inappropriate bus lane.

The bus lane mentality has caused considerable problems up and down the country as local authorities disproportionately designate road resource to a very small percentage of the traffic in the form of buses. Consequently, the nation's workforce sits in traffic, coughing out fumes and compounding pollution, while half the road is not being used, except by occasional buses that is!


Letter 01

REQUEST FOR THE RESTORATION OF A TWO LANE APPROACH TO THE
CRAYFORD ONE WAY SYSTEM AT THE BOTTOM OF CRAYFORD HIGH STREET

02/10/02

Dear Mr Morley,

We are writing to request that the junction at the bottom of Crayford High Street, that is the hill, be restored to a two-lane approach so as to double its efficiency. This will then halve the processing time of traffic travelling onto the one-way system and so halve the tail back up the hill. It is not a good thing that half the road is currently designated to a bus lane that is rarely used and patently obvious that this is not an efficient use of the available resource. This bottleneck causes a considerable number of problems for people and a high degree of unnecessary congestion. Consequently, we would like to see the bus lane removed and the road restored to a dual-lane approach.

The route down the hill is one of two main routes between Erith and Dartford, Thames Road being the other one. Both routes have been made less efficient in recent years through the implementation of schemes with notably higher congestion factors, and which presumably therefore, are not the best solutions on offer. Problems manifested on one route compound problems on the other. Halving the capacity of traffic through Crayford forces more traffic to use Thames Road. If there is ever a problem on Thames Road, the situation around here reaches crisis point. Restoring the two-lane approach will greatly help reduce the overall congestion of traffic trying to move in that direction.

As well as restoring the dual-lane approach we would also like to see the turning into Crayford Way from the route down Crayford Hill, restored to a left turn, so that motorists coming down the hill do not have to drive around the one-way system to access Crayford Way. Diversions like this are not popular and are an inconvenient waste of people's time and money. Expediting traffic flow is a key point in reducing congestion and it should be considered crucial that junctions and road schemes seen to be operating at less than their potential, be improved in their efficiency.

In the interests of achieving this we would like to see the eradication of all bottlenecks and schemes that currently route people out of their way, more roundabouts and driver initiative schemes with independent pedestrian crossing, as opposed to the less efficient traffic lighting, with integrated pedestrian crossing. Modified independent pedestrian crossings or Zebra crossings, that do not force vehicles to stop when no one is crossing, or waiting to cross, and an eradication of bus lanes in favour of getting all the traffic moving. Bus lanes represent an inefficient and disproportionate designation of road resource. The number of vehicles on the road is growing all the time and there are three things that we can do in order to preserve the ability of people to go about their business as efficiently as possible. One is to reduce the need to travel by making sure that people have what they need locally. Two is to not over populate any given area by cramming too many people into it. The last is to make sure that we elect the most efficient traffic schemes and systems on offer. This, sadly, cannot be seen to be the case at the moment.

Inefficient traffic schemes also contribute unnecessarily to the level of pollution and the growing number of pollution related illnesses that people have to suffer. In fact, it is very evident that many of the policies and types of scheme being implemented are contributing to the level of congestion and pollution. Looking towards the future, we feel that this has got to change and we would like to see a redirection of the types of initiative currently being employed towards opting for schemes that are more efficient and more practical for people living in the area and the travelling public alike.

Yours faithfully,

DJ.Tarrant

No reply received


Result

Even though we did not receive a reply to the above letter, and the travelling public had to put up with the inconvenience of the above, poorly thought out scheme for many years, the Council did eventually acknowledge the lunacy of what it had done and restored the two-lane approach. The Council also restored the left turn into Crayford Way rather than making people go all the way around the one-way system. Thank goodness! How much did this ridiculous error of judgment cost? Lots of money! Considerable wasted time. Additional pollution. Considerable frustration. Who came up with this ridiculous idea? Another faceless individual who was never held accountable for his stupidity, the abuse of the public and public funds alike. It's about time they were answerable and held to account. They would be in any other job for sure! Disgraceful!