Thanks to Thames Water who did shut the Northbound Clifford avenue section to replace aging water mains the A205 South Circular in Richmond (This Is Local London) as well as Transport For London who revamped Richmond Circus to add more car lanes but still no cycle lanes (I'll post again on this), Richmond was totally grid locked this summer: the city has the plight of being sectionned by a train line with only a few crosses: a bridge on the Quadrant, another one in Church lane, a level crossing in Manor Road, a bridge on Clifford avenue and another crossing in Sheen Road by Mortlake train station.
Of course, this was concurrent with the works in White Hart lane, great planning guys....
More people die on level crossings than in derailments or train crashes, killing on average one person a month.
Network Rail says that every year 2,000 people are reported to misuse level crossings with motorists ignoring warning lights or weaving round barriers.
The National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers Union (RMT) says that even crossings with barriers and warning systems are unsafe and should be replaced with bridges or underpasses over a period of ten years.
The bad news is that it's only going to get worse for local residents, with longer wait at crossings if BAA gets their way. Yes, BAA, the London Heathrow airport operator who's wanting to put more planes overhead. Because they just figured out that Heathrow is poorly deserved by trains.
No, not really, the truth is that they are trying to curb on car mouvements around the aiport in order to land more planes without breaching too much the European directive on air quality (thank god for the EU). Insane? Yes, but these are the facts. So, if Airtrack goes ahead the trains frequency will double -from 8 to 16- with no or little benefits for local residents as it's far from certain the extra trains will stop in North Sheen for instance, while Manor Road will be continuously clogged with a traffic jam caused by the level crossing barriers being shut for 45 minutes in one hour!
This is obviously not acceptable, and this train line should be buried under street level from Putney to Richmond. Period. Our MP Susan Kramer is running a petition: http://www.susankramer.org.uk/pages/airtrack.html.
The consultation closes on 18 September.
Member since: 11th September 2009
I write on local issues on my blog, <a href="http://richmondtransits.blogspot.com">Richmond Transits</a>