On the 23rd June, we shared a survey via social media regarding the use of the controllers for the existing traffic lights on the A228, to mediate the flow of traffic allowing easier access to and egress from Bush Road. The trial was ongoing at the time and we sought to take a ‘snapshot’ of residents’ thoughts about it.
Over the years, there have been many suggestions to improve the safety of this junction, but an earlier trial showed that the use of further traffic lights at the end of Bush Road caused significant issues for the flow of traffic on the A228, making it a deeply unpopular option for traffic planners, users of the A228 and residents of Sundridge Hill/ Rochester Road alike.
This latest trial aimed to replicate an apparent ‘fault’, which occurred a few years ago, on the controllers of the existing pedestrian crossing lights of the A228. The broad premise being that if more than a certain number of cars were waiting to exit Bush Road, the lights at the pedestrian crossing of the Strood-bound carriageway would turn red for a short time, whilst allowing the Halling-bound carriageway to continue moving freely. This pause in traffic was hoped to allow cars to emerge immediately if heading towards Strood, and create a significantly easier opportunity to join the Halling-bound carriageway.
To conduct this trial, a new road surface had to be laid on the approach to the pedestrian lights and a signaller equipment purchased and installed.
Our survey was available from 23.06.21 to 07.07 and received 126 responses. It consisted of 5 multiple choice questions and a comments section.
Based on some of the comments received, it is clear to see that some participants misunderstood the nature of the survey, and thought that they were being asked about the regular use of temporary traffic lights further along the A228, which are not related to this trial in any way.
Examples of this include:
- Coming home from work at 5:30 from kings hill is a nightmare traffic can be back to at peters bridge
- No good spent an hour of my day sitting in traffic to get home. Worst idea traffic counts are too high for lights here
Respondents providing these comments overwhelmingly selected negative responses for most/all other questions, which can be skewing the results slightly.
There was also a clear point made about the impact this trial had on the ability to exit Station Road…
- Although it made exiting from bush road towards strood FAR easier. It made turning towards halling a lot harder and made it so so much more difficult pulling out of station road at one point I was sat for nearly 5 minutes
- This trial totally ignores the difficulties presented trying to exit station road. The large lorries servicing the trading estate are becoming an increasing hazard.
Many other residents used this opportunity to express their frustrations with adjustments being made throughout the trial…
- The setup of the lights changed each week without any notification which made the event very dangerous
- At the beginning when you could see that the lights were changing it was all a lot easier but this seemed to be altered very quickly on and then since no change from the original problem. The lights don’t appear to change now
For the most part however, residents were showed very positive responses…
- Having the opportunity to be able to get out and back into Cuxton safely, a lot more quickly and stress free has been wonderful. Also has slowed traffic a lot more periodically throughout the day making the road a lot safer.
- So much safer entering and exiting the village I feel much safer and it also slows the traffic down as an added bonus
- I have found it much easier to cross at the pedestrian crossing, and it feels safer – like cars are more prepared to stop.