Heathrow Airport Consultation
On 25th June the House of Commons voted overwhelmingly in favour of the expansion of Heathrow Airport and for the 3 rd runway to go ahead. For details of Heathrow Airport’s proposals following the Commons vote see www.heathrowexpansion.com.
Now that Parliament has given the go-ahead, subject to legal proceedings brought by certain local authorities, I shall write again to Tan Dhesi MP to ask him to press for compensation for residents of the Sutton Lane area and more generally of the Langley St Mary’s Ward for the noise and pollution which it and extra traffic on approaches to Heathrow will impose on Langley residents.
Station Road Bridge
Slough BC notified us of a highway scheme due to commence in Langley on 30th July 2018. They plan to carry out works to resolve ongoing flooding issues under the Station Road railway bridge but are also taking the opportunity to undertake works to improve access to Langley Station via highway modifications in the vicinity of the rail bridge.
When the works start they tell us that they will need to close the road under the Station Road rail bridge for up to 6 weeks. They plan to close the road during the summer holidays “to cause as minimal disruption as possible”. They say that unfortunately, the closure is unavoidable in order to make these changes, which should see the area being free from flash-flooding issues in the future.
After the initial 6 weeks, there will be further works; but the road will be re-opened. I suspect these refer to adaptations of the Waterside Drive junction.
They tell us they are setting up diversion routes in both directions from Monday 30 July, while work is carried out. The official diversion route will be via the A412 Uxbridge Rd., accessed via Langley Road and Wood Lane. There will be additional (shorter) diversion routes but these will not be signed as they are not suitable for all traffic. Pedestrian access will be maintained under the bridge.
The improvement works are being carried out under funding from the Berkshire Local Enterprise Fund which was won to improve access to Langley Station. The council’s transport and highways team are taking this opportunity to address all required works for the road at the same time.
The St. Mary’s NAG chair, Bill Birmingham, have been sent some plans for the alterations and improvements to the Sutton Lane/North Park/Parlaunt Road junction. If you wish to see them, please let me know.
Cllr Plenty was told that the routing of the lorries [from the Cemex site] was discussed at much length during the planning stages of this site. It was [Slough BC’s] decision for lorries to use Sutton Lane as this is more suited to larger lorry movements and passes a minimum number of houses.
Also, it means lorries can exit directly on to the A4 Colnbrook By-Pass if travelling eastbound on the A4, or they can use the A4 to access the M4 and subsequently M25. Sutton Lane already has a business park and several other businesses served by HGV's and this route is more suited to such movements.
Council officials said that they did not want any additional unnecessary lorry movements along Parlaunt Road and High Street Langley as this is already an area suffering with air quality and congestion issues. Sutton Lane provides a more direct route out of the borough and avoids lorries being held up on High Street Langley during busier periods. This route would mean lorries carrying aggregate and which have the potential to generate large volumes of fine dust and debris pass a much greater number of houses and therefore further detracting from the quality of life for residents. Due to the more direct link to the A4, M4 and M25 he would have thought that this route works better for the operator in any case and generally it is less congested than High Street Langley and Parlaunt Road during busier periods. “I trust the above is relatively self-explanatory, should you require any further information do not hesitate to contact me.”
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Market Lane & Chequers Bridge Western Rail to Heathrow (WRAtH) by Network Rail has proposed to close the Chequers Bridge on Hallow Hill Lane permanently without offering an alternative route and we all know what chaos it caused when SBC closed it last time!
Slough Borough Council is being pressed by Langley and Iver residents for the route to
stay open or for a relief road to be built in view of the vulnerability of the Station Road
bridge to flooding and being hit by a tall vehicle. They inform us that they are in
contact with South Bucks District Council and Bucks County Council and also with
NetworkRail and HS2 on these issues.
Note the following exchange between Cllr Ted Plenty and Savio DeCruz
1. Have SBC gathered any information on changes in journey times during the 6 month closure of Market Lane? In Slough's information supplied to Network Rail, it appears that only 2 weeks data, from October 16, were supplied. Is this correct? If so, what was the purpose of the closure beyond the 2 weeks submitted?
Response from Savio DeCruz, Head of Transport and Highways
Journey time information was gathered as part of the experimental closure to understand
the impacts in the impact area and wider surrounding area. The data gathered was for a two week period. Cameras recording journey times were in place for approximately two weeks only to understand the impact of the closure. The purpose of the closure beyond two weeks was explained to NCS and Cabinet in 2016 in detail. The purpose of any experiment is to see whether any mitigation will reduce the impact and therefore the journey time recording is there to analyse where problems are and see if any alteration on the highway can reduce the delay over a period of time. Drivers change their routes when they are aware of delays so if the closure was removed after two weeks of data gathering, we would not be able to put in any mitigation or measure it.
2. Is there any estimate, even if only a general one, of what the additional cost of providing a tunnel or bridge to keep Market Lane open might be? Have Network Rail been asked? Have Network Rail held discussions with Slough on the topic of traffic mitigation? If so what have they suggested?
Response from Savio DeCruz, Head of Transport and Highways
There is no estimate for either a bridge or tunnel. Network Rail have been asked to assess a potential bridge but have not agreed to undertake this work. No further discussion has taken place between the council and NR on traffic mitigation. The council is waiting on NR to undertake a review of the impacts and then to discuss what the mitigation will be.
What more can we say?
Bill Birmingham has copies of Bucks County Council’s and The Ivers Parish Council’s response to the WRAtH and can send them on request.
Please fill in the survey for this consultation (link below) to voice your opinion on the closure of the bridge: https://consultations.networkrail.co.uk/…/consul…/intro/
Call the Network Rail’s 24-hour national helpline: 03457 11 41 41
Post on Twitter: @networkrailwest
CrossRail In anticipation of the introduction of the Elizabeth Line (previously
known as CrossRail) Transport for London has taken over responsibility from Great
Western Railway for the operation of Langley Station. We are promised disabled
access to all Langley station platforms to be provided in time for the extension of the line to Maidenhead and Reading at the end of 2019. They have awarded a contract for the construction of step-free access to the platforms by three new lifts and a new
footbridge. There will also be a refurbished ticket hall including new ticket gates and
Parking near Langley Station
Slough Borough Council proposes to introduce a limited extension of double
yellow lines in the Barton Road/Talbot Avenue area, but residents in the area are
invited to submit to the Council proposals for overcoming the problem of parking by
commuters and using the area as a rat run, while at the same time ensuring parking for
local residents, e.g. by yellow lines, residents only parking or no parking during the middle of the day.
The frequency of buses through Langley was reduced in December 2017, buses on Route 7 from Slough to Heathrow via Trelawney Avenue now running every 15 minutes. Buses to Uxbridge via Langley Road are now half-hourly. Reading Buses have taken over
running route 702 from Bracknell to London and are operating roughly to the same
timetable as before.
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