Proposed Traffic Regulation Order – Waiting Restrictions in Whitegates
ACER, The Whitegates Residents Association, has considered the proposals in your letter to residents dated July 2019 and wishes to comment as follows.
The stated objectives of “improving safety and congestion” are unlikely to be met for the following reasons;
- Many of the recent accidents are caused by speeding and the double yellow lines will not slow cars down, in fact the converse is true as better visibility will encourage cars to travel faster.
- Vehicles parked directly opposite junctions restrict both visibility at junctions and manoeuvrability. Minibuses are often parked in such locations. There is no proposal to install yellow lines opposite the junctions, where accidents have recently occurred.
- Rule 243 of the Highway Code states that vehicles should not park opposite junctions. If yellow lines are to be installed at junctions, then yellow lines opposite the junction should be considered in addition to those shown.
- The extent of the yellow lines past junction entrances varies from three car lengths to 4.5 car lengths, and thereby reduces on-street parking to zero outside many properties. This is not reasonable or necessary. Two car lengths each side of a junction is usually sufficient for traffic observing the Highway Code and speed restrictions.
- The Highway Code states that cars should not be parked within 10 metres of a junction. This is just over two car lengths. To extend the yellow lines further than two car lengths reduces on- street parking completely outside many properties which is unacceptable as well as unnecessary.
- To reduce on-street parking unnecessarily will encourage parking on grass verges and pavements. This is already a problem in Whitegates and will be made worse by excessive use of yellow lines.
- Congestion and safety would be improved without the need for additional yellow lines if there was no access into Milton Road from Erleigh Court Gardens. This would at one stroke remove the racetrack down Milton Road into Erleigh Court Gardens and reduce the volume of traffic using this route as a rat run.
- The Drive bottlenecks have not received special attention as the main bus route and a through-traffic route.
- We are surprised there are no yellow lines proposed for the junction of Erleigh Court Drive and Whitegates Lane/The Drive. Turning left from Erleigh Court Drive into Whitegates is a blind corner. Anything parked close to the corner of Whitegates further impedes your view and forces you to edge out onto the wrong side of the road before you can see if anything is coming down Whitegates. Vehicles turning right out of Erleigh Court Gardens into Whitegates have the same problem.
Turning right from Whitegates into Erleigh Court Drive when vehicles are parked on the left of Erleigh Court Drive close to the corner leaves no room for you to complete the turn into Erleigh Court Drive and wait while traffic comes down Erleigh Court Drive. If any of this traffic is indicating to turn right into The Drive you are then blocking each other. A similar problem can occur with vehicles parked close to the corner on the opposite side; this is a problem if traffic coming down Erleigh Court Drive crosses on to the wrong side of the road to pass the parked vehicles rather than waiting for you to complete the turn.
- The existing yellow lines on the corner of Culver Lane and Palmerstone Road outside the corner shop extend too far along Culver Lane and do not allow sufficient room for a car to park outside the shop. As a result the yellow line restrictions are constantly ignored at the corner, causing reduced visibility and manoeuvring room at this junction. These current parking restrictions are not enforced. Is there any enforcement action planned for the proposed restrictions?
In summary, to introduce parking restrictions as proposed, risks increasing traffic speeds and imposes unacceptable parking restrictions outside some properties. The proposals will encourage more parking on grass verges and pavements, and will not achieve the stated aims of “improving safety and congestion”.
Alternative solutions should be considered, such as restricting access into Milton Road from Erleigh Court Gardens, introducing parking restrictions at the junction of Erleigh Court Drive and Whitegates Lane/The Drive, parking restrictions opposite T junctions plus reducing the bottlenecks on The Drive. These changes, would collectively, appear to achieve the requirement to reduce congestion, reduce the known collision points and therefore make the roads in Whitegates safer.
We hope our comments are constructive and useful and we would be pleased to assist further if requested.
ACER, The Whitegates Residents Association