Road rage misery continues as South Woodford streets used as rat runs

A long-standing problem of drivers using South Woodford roads as rat runs has not been improved because Redbridge Council cannot enforce regulations, according to residents.

Signs have been put up in Chelmsford Road, Fullers Road and Empress Avenue where they meet Woodford New Road to let motorists know they are for access only and are not through-routes to the High Road.

But campaigners say it hasn’t improved the situation because although traffic wardens can issue fixed penalty notices for parked cars, they don’t have the same powers as the police to stop vehicles.

Frank Cruder, of Chelmsford Road, said: “We asked for them [the signs] two years ago – it’s taken all this time to get them and still people don’t know what they mean and they still come down Chelmsford Road.

“We get heavy goods vehicles, vans and lorries using this road even though the signs are there.

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“The police [and] traffic wardens need to work together.”

Jill Rodgers, of Chelmsford Road, who chairs a residents’ sub-committee which campaigns on the issue, said traffic congestion has knock-on effects of aggressive behaviour and air pollution.

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She said: “There are still some people screaming and shouting at each other.

“Someone hit my daughter’s car just last week and drove off and the air quality is appalling. If it’s a hot, stuffy day, you can taste the exhaust fumes.”

Mr Cruder has called for the council to survey traffic numbers to see if the signs are having an impact.

A council statement released yesterday (Wednesday) said the signs spell out the restrictions in words and the Highway Code symbols “so drivers have no excuses for failing to recognise the restrictions”.

It said: “Drivers need to be aware of the concerns of local residents and respect the rules of the road.”

The council could not say at the time of going to press what impact the signs are having.

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