Sunday, 26 July 2015

Why Can't Drivers Turn Left from Uxbridge Road into Wood Lane?

Why no left turn onto Wood Lane?
Why can't traffic on the Uxbridge Road turn left into Wood Lane?  It's inconvenient for drivers and it makes no sense, pushing traffic into residential side streets instead. After all, it is generally right hand turns that cause traffic delays, not left hand turns. Why not free up the traffic on the Uxbridge road and restore the left hand turn? Well, TFL (who are in charge of such things) say that a left turn would bring a "loss of capacity" (whatever that means) and also that "the corner is too tight" - which it isn't.  It's roughly a 90 degree angle, just like most left turns.  The bigger problem here is the lack of accountability at TFL since, unlike the Council, we can't vote them out, and as a result they get to do whatever they please. Which, in this case, is nothing at all.

Lorry stuck in a residential street nearby
At present all northbound traffic from the Uxbridge Rd gets funnelled into nearby residential streets, causing unnecessary noise and disruption for residents.  And it brings no benefits to anyone. Drivers who miss the turn onto Wood Lane (especially out-of-towners looking for Westfield) have to go all the way around the Shepherd's Bush Green one-way system, which just clogs up the roads even further.

Uxbridge Road and Wood Lane, courtesy of Google Maps
The problem really is with TFL, which is not especially responsive to pressure from the public. Despite years of asking, we still haven't managed to get a direct response from TFL, or even find out in any meaningful why they are resisting change. The only real way to reach them is through members of the Council, but the Council don't have the final say in the decision. TFL is an unelected quango which seems to be able to do as it pleases.

We suspect that the main reason TFL don't want to permit a left hand turn is because it's been that way for years, and they don't want the hassle of changing it.

Which really isn't a good reason to leave things the way they are.

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  1. Just noticed this post. I'm not sure why TfL won't give a straight answer, but I would say that traffic throughput would be affected because currently pedestrians can cross Wood lane at the same time as traffic coming from Uxbridge Road. If left turns were allowed, then there would need to be an extra traffic light phase where only pedestrians can cross, and all traffic would need to stop at the intersection (both from Uxbridge road and the green) - this would make quite a large impact I gather.

    In terms of the corner being too tight - probably not for the turning circle of the car, but for the visibility of pedestrians from the drivers' point of view I would agree - on many occasions I have seen pedestrians nearly knocked over by a clueless driver turning round the corner.

    1. There will always be careless drivers. But this left hand turn is no different to any other. Any driver who turns left, on any road, without looking, should be held responsible for their actions. why is this turn any different?