Wandsworth councillors are calling on Transport for London to undo its recent changes to traffic light timings across Wandsworth after days of traffic chaos on local roads.
Last week TfL changed traffic light timings across the capital as part of its preparations for the 2012 Games and the launch of the Olympic Route Network (ORN). The ORN will be used to ferry athletes, officials, journalists and key Olympic partners across London during the Games.
But without warning or consultation with Wandsworth Council, TfL also changed traffic light timings on many other minor roads in the borough that have no connection with the ORN.
The result has been huge tailbacks with motorists given just a fraction of the time they would normally expect to pass through signal controlled junctions.
Among the most badly affected roads are Putney Hill, Kimber Road, Magdalen Road, Garratt Lane, East Hill, Earlsfield Road, Penwith Road, Burntwood Lane, Wimbledon Park Road, Replingham Road and Battersea Bridge Road.
The council’s transport spokesman Cllr Russell King said: “Unfortunately TfL has made some very dubious and ill-considered changes and motorists in the borough are now paying the price.
“The last few days have seen some awful hold-ups across the borough, and by and large, these have all been caused by changes TfL has made to the timings of various traffic signals.
“There is no doubt that some adjustments are needed on the Olympic network so that officials and athletes can get to and from the venues quickly. This is quite understandable as we all want the games to be a success. What is harder to comprehend is why these unannounced changes have been made at junctions that are nothing at all to do with the ORN.
“If they were hoping to speed up traffic flows, it is just not working. All it has done is create problems where none existed and made life simply intolerable for thousands of Londoners.
“It is absolutely vital that bosses at TfL listen to what the motoring public is saying, listen when the boroughs tell them there is a problem and respond swiftly to reverse these ill-thought out and badly conceived changes.”
Richard Tracey, London Assembly Member for Wandsworth said: "I have been in close touch with TfL managers following complaints on Trinity Road, Putney Hill, and the town centre."
Adjustments or changes to the timings of all traffic signals in London are the sole work and responsibility of Transport for London.
Councils in London are not allowed to interfere or adjust traffic light timings on any road in the capital. This applies to every single traffic light in London, not just those on TfL’s red route network.
Motorists who are experiencing unnecessary delays as a result of changes to traffic light timings can contact TfL’s customer care centre on 0845 305 1234.
July 17, 2012