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Traffic lights causing 'gridlock' and 'confusion' in Northwood to be reviewed
A CONTROVERSIAL set of traffic lights blamed for causing chaos and confusion in Northwood will be subject to a review.
The lights, in Green Lane at the junction with Eastbury Road and Station Approach, were installed on January 27 last year as a safety measure.
Pensioner William Henry Cox, 87, was killed there as he was crossing the road on September 15, 2008, as reported in the Gazette.
But residents have long been calling for the traffic lights to be removed, arguing that they cause gridlock in the town centre during the day, and increase problems crossing the road to and from the station.
They also say the lights have reduced parking spaces and access to shops, causing financial hardship for struggling traders.
A hearing to discuss a petition submitted by residents urging Hillingdon Council to remove the lights took place last night (20).
They would like to see them replaced with a pelican crossing, in the same location as the former zebra crossing.
Transport representative for the Northwood Residents Association (NRA), Lisa Maclay, said: "There are simply too many obstacles in place for the lights to be a success.
"They bring Green Lane to a halt as traffic backs up from Blockbuster to the mini roundabout at the junction with Maxwell Road.
"The traffic lights frustrate drivers and encourage them to be selfish, while commuters are often in a hurry to catch their train but don't know where to cross.
"There are also a number of schools nearby and vulnerable elderly people living in sheltered accommodation.
"We did a mini-survey yesterday (19) which found 75 per cent of people ignored the lights.
"The zebra crossing gave everyone a fair chance and this scheme is a disaster, the lights are absurd and unnecessary."
However officers from the Metropolitan Police Traffic Division insisted the traffic lights have improved road safety.
They also argued that, had the lights been installed earlier, the fatal collision involving Mr Cox might never have happened.
Feedback from the Northwood Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) also suggested the removal would be a 'retrograde step'.
Councillor Keith Burrows, cabinet member for planning, transportation and recycling, said although a review would take place and residents would be consulted, the views of the police carried the most significant weight.
Cllr Burrows said: "We will do what we can to iron out the issues and it is sensible to consider what can be done not to impede the flow of traffic.
"But the police know when something works and when it doesn't.
"We will consider all the options but I'm not going to order the lights to be removed immediately.
"Even if 1,000 residents petitioned against the lights, the views of police carry the most weight."
The consultation and review will hopefully take place before the summer holidays.
What do you think? Email Gazette reporter Siba Matti at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment below.
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