Monday, 28 October 2013

A40: A bridge too far?

I was stopped by a reader who lives near the A40 crossing on Hilary Road last week, who argued that a number of locals wanted to see something done about the dangers associated with the road. They believe a footbridge should be built. Their critique was both the nature of the crossing design and the proximity of children, particularly those on their way to or from school, to six lanes of high speed traffic. Sadly it is not uncommon to see the left overs of accidents on the road, which claims lives most years.

The design, as many of you will know, forces you to complete the crossing in two parts, waiting for another set of lights from the traffic island in the middle. The resident, who is a teacher and thus uses it at the same time as a lot of kids, said that this encourages people - including children - to run across the first part in between traffic gaps in order to make the green man on the second part without having to wait.

The proximity to traffic is also dangerous due to small kids being right next to large lorries hurtling past, which in some cases create a vacuum and could conceivably pose a direct threat. It's also an area where kids are often to be seen kicking a ball around in the space between the flats because it is off the traffic of Hilary Road itself.

Western Avenue footbridge
Further up the A40 a footbridge was indeed built at Western Avenue for precisely these reasons, so it seems logical that such a well used crossing at Hilary Road might also be bridged. It is the main crossing point for many in the North of the Bush to get to East Acton tube and is therefore heavily used. The immediate implications for that is cost and the inevitable disruption to the road, which I well remember when the bridge was built further up.

But is it really worth the risk of waiting for someone to be hit? Open question, but its one increasingly being asked by the residents in that part of W12.

1 comment:

  1. There is also the added element that the traffic lights for both sections are not at all in sync (and often one section takes much longer than the other) so it can easily take more than 5 minutes to cross - making it tempting to try to cross regardless of a red light.