Update – 27 April 2014
Following the introduction of the ‘yellow box’ at the Shortlands traffic lights, we asked the council if this box could stay in place to see if it would improve the traffic flow at the junction particularly for those wishing to turn right out of Ravensbourne Avenue. The council’s response is below and whilst this is disappointing in the sense that it does not solve the problem of red light jumping for people turning out of Ravensbourne Avenue, we accept that it will not be possible to keep the yellow box as a permanent feature.

The yellow box design is not suitable as a permanent solution. It is a short term answer to a short term issue – that of HGVs turning into Station Road whilst the junction of Church Road is closed, because HGVs have to use this route to get to Tetty Way (loading for amongst others Primark, BHS and the Churchill Theatre). The reason it is not suitable as a solution to red light runners is as follows:

  • It doesn’t confirm to DfT guidelines. This is fine for a temporary solution but not for a permanent one.
  • The yellow box removes 16m of road space between the old and new stop lines (the size of an HGV). This is the equivalent to 3 cars, therefore, for a permanent scheme this would remove 3 cars worth of capacity per cycle of lights. Given how this arm of the junction is already congested in the peaks it would make congestion significantly worse on Station Road.
  • As the distance from the stop line to the junction would have to increase, in order to follow traffic light regulations, we would need to stop the traffic earlier to give traffic time to get to and pass through the junction before the main road starts. This would have the knock on effect of also having to stop the traffic in Ravensborne [sic] Ave. as they share the same phase. This would increase congestion on this arm too.
  • Given the second and third bullets above, it is likely that MORE traffic will choose to jump the lights.
  • During the week between the installation of the yellow box junction and the Church Road closure, we received a similar number of complaints about the yellow box – primarily complaints about adding to the congestion. 

The yellow box junction cannot, therefore, remain – even as a trial, once the road reverts back to normal usage.

We appreciate that this junction has brought about significant concerns from your society in the past, but there is little point in revisiting all the previous correspondence on this matter. In the Council’s opinion, there is no engineering solution to the issue, although better enforcement would probably help. Unfortunately moving traffic offences are a Police matter, not within the remit of the Council.

Traffic lights at Shortlands - 7 April 2014
You may have noticed that a new ‘no enter’ yellow box has suddenly appeared in Station Road at the Shortlands junction. This is to assist HGVs turning into Station Road whilst Church Road is closed for approximately ten weeks from 14 April. These links give more information from the council:

The interesting thing will be to see what impact this has on the continuing annoying problem of red light jumping. The videos below show that it is having some impact.

We have asked the council if the yellow box can remain in place when Church Road is reopened in order to see what the impact will be on this junction and whether it will indeed help drivers turning right as they leave Ravensbourne Avenue.