'This junction isn't fit for this century': TfL officers inspect 'death trap' A12 junction in Newbury Park
PUBLISHED: 17:00 01 March 2019
Transport for London officers visited a notorious "death trap junction" on the A12 in Newbury Park earlier today (March 1) - almost two years to the day since residents presented a petition demanding urgent safety improvements.
The Green Gate junction, where the A12 intersects with Ley Street and Horns Road in Newbury Park, is one of the most widely known accident blackspots in Redbridge, and hundreds of residents signed the petition, which was then presented to TfL and the Mayor of London by Ilford South MP Mike Gapes.
On Friday morning, dozens of concerned residents gathered to speak to the TfL officials, touching on everything from illegal right hand or U-turns putting pedestrians in danger, to the way the A12 narrows from three lanes to two across the junction itself.
They told the TfL representatives that it has now become common to see up to four cars at a time ploughing through red lights at the junction.
Surrounded by those same concerned residents and standing on the junction itself, Mr Gapes told the officials conducting their site visit: “There have been issues here for such a long time.
“A petition was set up two years ago and that was following on from incidents that happened here in the past.
“A lot of people are saying ‘can you do something about this?’
“This junction is not fit for this century - it was built many years ago and the amount of traffic using it has increased massively.”
The TfL officers visiting the site revealed that, in the past, the organisation has mainly assessed road safety using collision data recorded by the Metropolitan Police, but that this has since changed to look more at accident prevention and levels of risk.
During the meeting, Mr Gapes told them: “There are a lot of near misses here. Not actual crashes or actual deaths, but a lot of people get very, very lucky.”
TfL will now begin a review process utilising the comments it has gathered from residents, likely to take several months, before producing concrete proposals.
Alexandra Peters-Day, TfL’s government relations adviser, told the crowd: “We absolutely recognise that changes should have been made sooner.
“I can’t promise anything but what I can say is that in the coming months we will look at at this and see what we can do.
“That will involve coming and talking to you all and getting your feedback.
“We don’t want to just tell you what we’re going to do, we want to communicate, work together and find a solution that works for you.”
Speaking to the Recorder after the meeting, Mr Gapes said: “I’m pleased that TfL are now taking this seriously. They did say today that they are working on designs and they’re going to come back to us.
“I’m really pleased with the number of local people who came out, because that really shows how much this issue matters to members of the local community.”
Carol Joseph is one Newbury Park resident who has been instrumental in campaigning to make the junction safer.
In March 2017 she was responsible for drawing up the petition that first highlighted this issue, and was one of the residents grilling the TfL officials at the junction.
Afterwards, she told the Recorder: “I hope that TfL now realise it is a serious issue and do something because, and I really don’t want this to be the case, more lives will be lost at this junction.”
On Thursday, March 2, 2017, the Recorder ran a front page story on the initial petition – 13 pages long and signed by more than 200 people – asking ‘how many more lives must be lost?’
Campaigners now believe they and TfL are taking the right steps forward in making sure the answer to that question eventually falls to zero.