Saturday, March 22, 2014

U-Turn “Debate” Rumbles On

The section of Clayhall Avenue
where Cllr Bond claims there
have been no accidents
Back in January we reported on the Area 2 Committee meeting where the subject of U-Turns in Clayhall Avenue was discussed as they had insisted on being consulted. A week later, as reported in the comments of that post, Area 4 Committee reaffirmed their decision to proceed with an extension of the Traffic Management Order to ban U-Turns in Clayhall Avenue in the whole of the section between the traffic lights and the width restriction. At this meeting there were no Area 2 councillors or residents who are opposed to extending the ban. The decision then had to be reaffirmed by Area 3 Committee which did not meet until last Wednesday 19th March.

At this meeting we had Area 4 councillor Robert Cole speaking for the proposal and Area 2 councillors Gwyneth Deakins and Ian Bond speaking against, plus a contingent of Hill Farm residents (from Area 2). There was quite a bit of debate from the Area 3 councillors who eventually agreed to reaffirm their earlier decision to back Area 4 on the ban extension by 6 votes with one abstention. (two Area 3 councillors were not present).

Cllr Bond’s rather one-sided account of the meeting is here. I was there too. He omits to report that Cllr Cole, who spoke first, was also heckled and called a "liar". He also fails to mention that Cllr Cole's intervention, when Cllr Bond was speaking, was to challenge his assertion that the decision would be illegal, pointing out that the advice from the Legal Department contained in the report before the committee said that it is. There was also heckling from the residents while Area 3 councillors were speaking. And Cllr Bond also fails to mention the verbal abuse suffered by Cllr Cole as he left the building and walked to his car, while the posse led by Cllr Deakins were plotting their next move to thwart a decision for as long as possible. The democratic rights of Clayhall and Fullwell residents, via their elected representatives, to lobby for this change seems to matter not to Roding councillors, who are the first to argue for devolution of greater powers to Area Committees where the "local ward councillors know the area best". Another Area 2 Councillor, Paul Canal, has since had his say here.

And so it goes on. The Roding councillors intend to requisition the decision so that it has to be discussed at Full Council and are also considering a legal challenge. The first Full Council where this can be debated is the one in June after the local elections. And of course we do not know who will form the new administration nor whether those sitting councillors who are standing will be re-elected. And we also do not know if we will have Area Committees after May.

There is though, one thing we seem to be missing here and it was brought to my attention by Area 2 councillor Robin Turbefield. It is a report in the Daily Mail on new traffic regulations that were brought in last August.
Among the offences, grouped under the 'inconsiderate driving' law, are driving too close to the vehicle in front, failing to give way at a junction and overtaking and pushing into a queue of traffic.
”Pushing into a queue of traffic” is precisely the accusation made against the U-Turners by the other road users at that location. However, I am not sure whether these new regulations are enforceable by a local authority.


  1. make the junction a round-about..including all three enhances and exit points. Solved.

    1. A Magic Roundabout on Woodford Avenue – lobby your Assembly Member

      He's now on twitter @RogerEvansAM

  2. I've been following this debate since it was opened a while ago until the machinations of local councillors made it completely impossible to comprehend. I acknowledge that any restriction on U-turning at this junction would be a little inconvenient for some local residents but that inconvenience is far outweighed by the problems suffered by the drivers of legitimately positioned vehicles (and I've been one of them many times) who are almost barged out of line by totally inconsiderate U-turning lorries, vans and cars seeking an opening into the traffic stream.

    For drivers to have to make a minor diversion to the Longwood Gardens roundabout in order to make the reverse turn into Woodford Avenue is unimportant compared with the potential for a nasty accident should this disputed U-turn be made legal. The problem is of course, even if it becomes illegal, would anyone abide by the law?

  3. maybe someone in the council or the highways departments should firstly find out why so many vehicles want to do a uturn in the first place, ive passed the other day at abot 2 o clock in the afternoon and the traffic was back on the clayhall avenue up to the next road along (peel drive) I also was there this morning and had a small lorry in front who realised that he would not fit between the width restriction so needed to do a u-wee, I still think that its all to do with the roding lane south maybe they could all see sense and if the gov want to keep business and industry and jobs going then sort it out before companies start moving out,,,,,the solution is probably very simple and ful of "common sense" but as usual they will probably need a consultation about the enquiry into the inuiry into the consultation about the inquiry........the last bit don't make sense but that sort of stuff never does x

  4. "cracked it"......a simple sign with illustration....saying" for roding lane south carry on till roundabout and do s u-weeeeeeeeeeeee there" simples

  5. A request for a roundabout is with TFL and we are awaiting a response. We fully support the need for a u turn ban as agreed by area committees. Thank you as well for reporting so clearly on the meeting . This is of great concern to residents of clayhall and full well. All that the lib dems requisition will do is to extend the time before these measures can be operative. They seem to think that additional time is ok to get a final go ahead for this, but that it is not ok to ask people to.spend extra time in driving to the roundabout! REALLY TALK ABOUT CONFUSED MESSAGES

    1. At approx 2pm today I witnessed a black taxi cab drive through the width restriction, do an immediate U-Turn, and then back through the width restriction. It took less than 5 seconds.