Castle Lane Traffic Light Sequencing

Reply from Councillor Ronald Whittaker

19th March 2010

RE: Castle Lane Traffic Lights

Ken,

Thank you for this very detail report, but notice your final comments relating to note of caution, regarding at the expense of traffic exiting from Muscliff lane, yes opposite solution to that i have made, trust that these improvements WILL NOT cause prolonged delays i.e. shorter time periods for traffic exiting from Muscliff lane.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail response from Ken Hobbs - Principal Traffic Engineer to Les Deller - TMSTH Area Forum Chairman

19th March 2010

FW: Castle Lane Traffic Lights

Dear Mr Deller,

I write further to your deputation to Council on 2nd March 2010 on the above subject in which you 'asked the Council as a matter of urgency to review the traffic situation in the area, including the phasing of traffic lights, with a view to finding a solution for improving traffic flow along Castle Lane', as 'the Area Forum and local councillors had been trying to resolve the issues with Council officers for many months but to date no action had been taken'.

I can confirm that the situation remains as it was in Michelle Fillingham's e-mail's of 8th February in which Michelle explained in detail the assessments that had recently been undertaken, the actions proposed as a result of these assessments and the proposals and timescales for further review of the traffic situation on Castle Lane.

To reiterate the current position, a detailed review / assessment has now been undertaken of the traffic signals at the junctions of Castle Lane West with both Muscliff Lane and Wimborne Road as well as conditions further along the corridor to New Road to establish the traffic behaviour. The majority of the Castle Lane traffic is heading towards Whitelegg Way and site observations have shown that this traffic queues back through both the signalised junctions from the Whitelegg Way / Redhill roundabout. Vehicles travelling westbound towards Kinson or New Road queue in a single lane due to the layout of the lanes at the Redhill / Whitelegg roundabout. When this happens traffic trying to leave Muscliff Lane heading for Wimborne Road frequently finds their way blocked by the Castle Lane traffic remaining stationary due to exit blocking.

The outcome of this review / assessment was that it was not possible to implement a quick fix solution to benefit Muscliff Lane users as the problem extends over the wider network.

What is proposed in the immediate future is for the safety team to look at the viability of yellow box markings to help Muscliff Lane traffic have clearer access to the left lane on Castle Lane for Wimborne Road. However it is worth noting that even with a yellow box, when the traffic on Castle Lane heading towards Whitelegg Way isn't moving due to exit blocking, this may not provide a total solution.

It is also intended to look at changing the timings specifically for the left turn coming out of Wimborne Road to see if holding this traffic back will create extra carriageway space for the Castle Lane West traffic to move into which will ultimately benefit both Muscliff Lane and Castle Lane. As you will appreciate during the peak times the corridor is congested and so some changes to the signal timings will have to be trialed to achieve benefits that have the least negative impact on the other approaches, such as increasing the delays on Wimborne Road to an unacceptable level.

Further detailed assessment of signal timing changes will be undertaken, however, this assessment will now have to wait as this is a major piece of work and other projects are already programmed and will therefore have to take priority through until early summer, by which time the traffic signal review around Castlepoint, which is programmed for April, should also have been completed.

One final note of caution in respect of overall expectations, it should be remembered that one possible eventual outcome with respect to the Castle Lane / Muscliff Junction would be that any noticeable improvement for flows along Castle Lane may only be possible at the expense of traffic exiting from Muscliff Lane, which is the opposite solution to that being sought by Councillor Whittaker.

Regards,

Ken Hobbs

Principal Traffic Engineer

UPDATED 23/3/2010

Reply from Councillor Ron Whittaker

8th February 2010

RE: Castle Lane Traffic Lights

Michelle,

Thank you, from this I gather them from what you are now saying i.e. no quick fix solution to users of Muscliffe lane lights, don't think these endless delays is going to be well received in my ward, as we have raised these problems and our Chairman many months ago, fully appreciate it might be a major piece of work, but it is a real safety road matter, now you refer to early summer, are we then now saying this junction has to wait for the work at Castlepoint.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

Reply from Michelle Fillingham (Project Engineer - Technical Services) to Councillor Ron Whittaker

8th February 2010

RE: Castle Lane Traffic Lights

Dear Councillor Whittaker,

I'm sorry you misunderstood my e-mail. The message I was trying to convey was that I have now undertaken a detailed review / assessment, the results of which I outlined in my earlier email. To confirm the outcome the current situation is that it was not possible to implement a quick fix solution to benefit Muscliff users as the problem extends over the wider network. I then went on to outline how I hope to bring about some improvements. I will endeavour to trial the Wimborne Road changes in the next month and I shall speak to my colleagues in road safety for them to assess the potential for yellow box markings.

Unfortunately further assessment of signal timing changes will have to wait as this is a major piece of work and other projects have to take priority through until early summer when I would hope to have also completed the Castlepoint review.

Regards,

Michelle Fillingham

Project Engineer - Technical Services

E-mail from Councillor Ronald Whittaker to Michelle Fillingham (Project Engineer - Technical Services)

8th February 2010

RE: Castle Lane Traffic Lights

Michelle,

Thank you for your very detail report back to our Chairman of the Forum, as you have not responded to my e-mail of the 31st January, asking IF the works at the Muscliff lane junction have been carried out, from reading your comments I take it that so far the review of the traffic signals at this junction HAVE not as yet been undertaken, this leads me on to the increasing traffic that is now using the Castle Lane / Wimborne Road service road that leads into Muscliff Lane, as this matter as my chairman has said, likely to be raised at the forum, can you therefore please clarify IF THE THOSE WORKS AT THE MUSCLIFF LANE JUNCTION have or when such will be undertaken as we have now over the past six months had various promises but see nothing happening on site.

Thank you, Councillor Ron Whittaker

Reply from Michelle Fillingham (Project Engineer - Technical Services)

8th February 2010

RE: Castle Lane Traffic Lights

Dear Mr Deller,

Thank you for your patience with regards to the review of the traffic signals at the junctions of Castle Lane West with both Muscliff Lane and Wimborne Road.

I have carried out a number of on site assessments during the peak periods at both of the above junctions as well as further along the corridor to New Road to establish the traffic behaviour.

The majority of the Castle Lane traffic is heading towards Whitelegg Way and on site I have observed that this traffic queues back through both the signalled junctions from the Whitelegg Way / Redhill roundabout.

Vehicles travelling westbound towards Kinson or New Road will queue in a single lane due to the layout of the lanes at the Redhill / Whitelegg roundabout.

When this happens traffic trying to leave Muscliff Lane heading for Wimborne Road frequently finds their way blocked by the Castle Lane traffic remaining stationary due to exit blocking.

Wimborne Road also suffers with traffic sitting through an entire green phase without moving left onto Castle Lane towards Redhill / Whitelegg roundabout.

This presents a problem in keeping the reservoir between the Muscliff and Wimborne Road junctions clear of congestion.

What I propose to do is get our safety team to look at the viability of yellow box markings to help Muscliff Lane traffic have clearer access to the left lane on Castle Lane for Wimborne Road.

However it is worth noting that even with a yellow box, when the traffic on Castle Lane heading towards Whitelegg Way isn't moving due to exit blocking, this may not provide a total solution.

I have carried out a number of changes to the Urban Traffic Control model which have really not had the impact I would like. I am now looking at changing the timings specifically for the left turn coming out of Wimborne Road to see if holding this traffic back will create extra carriageway space for the Castle Lane West traffic to move into which will ultimately benefit both Muscliff Lane and Castle Lane.

As you will appreciate during the peak times the corridor is congested and I will have to trial some changes to the signal timings to achieve benefits with the least negative impact on the other approaches such as increasing the delays on Wimborne Road to an unacceptable level.

If you require clarification on any of the above points please do not hesitate to contact me.

Regards,

Michelle Fillingham

Project Engineer - Technical Services

Follow up E-mail from Les Deller (Throop, Muscliff, Strouden, Townsend and Holdenhurst Area Forum Chairman) to Michelle Fillingham (Project Engineer - Technical Services)

1st February 2010

RE: Castle Lane Traffic Lights

Our Forum meeting will take place on Thursday, 11th February 2010 so please would you please send me a detailed statement of what the position is regarding the traffic lights on Castle Lane for the meeting? It is an issue a lot of people who live in the area are concerned about because the flow of traffic down Castle Lane is very poor and needs to be made better which is resulting in the local roads being used as 'rat runs', which is highly dangerous.

Kind Regards,

Mr Les Deller

Throop, Muscliff, Strouden, Townsend and Holdenhurst Area Forum Chairman

www.tmsthareaforum.info

E-mail from Michelle Fillingham (Project Engineer - Technical Services) to Les Deller (Throop, Muscliff, Strouden, Townsend and Holdenhurst Area Forum Chairman)

8th January 2010

RE: Castle Lane Traffic Lights

Dear Mr Deller,

The review of the traffic signals at the junction of Muscliff Lane and Castle Lane West (CLW) is being undertaken over the next couple of weeks.

To maintain the through traffic on Castle Lane West the Urban Traffic Control (UTC) priority will be to keep this traffic moving and restrict the volume of traffic exiting from Muscliff Lane especially during the peak periods.

Having carried out some preliminary work on site I have noted that occasionally traffic is unable to clear from Muscliff Lane due to traffic on Castle Lane West unable to clear further down Castle Lane West and therefore queues back from the Wimborne Road junction.

I shall be investigating why this is happening and make any adjustments necessary to the clearance stage.

The results of this and any alterations recommended will be made available to you at the end of this month in time for your meeting in February.

With regards to Castlepoint this traffic signal network will have a full review hopefully starting in April.

These traffic signal junctions all operate under Bournemouth’s Urban Traffic Control system during the day and under Cableless Linking Facility (CLF) overnight. This means they are not activated by vehicles in the same way as normal vehicle actuation (VA) due to the nature of the small signalised roundabouts within the network.

During the peak times drivers will not notice this fact as much as overnight when traffic is light. Due to the Cableless Linking Facility linking of the signals there will always be times when a vehicle may be stopped due to influences either at another junction or one of the toucan crossings.

During the review I shall be looking closely at the control method of the signals and the safety restrictions that have been operating.

Once this work is complete I shall let you know my recommendations including any signal alterations that may be implemented on site before any final decisions are made.

Kind Regards,

Michelle Fillingham

Project Engineer - Technical Services

UPDATED 19/2/2010

Reply by Councillor Ron Whittaker

6th January 2010

RE: Castle Lane Traffic Lights

Les, thanks here.

Yes can understand the real frustrations, am promised that Muscliff light will be reviewed and implemented for improvements in Mid Jan or later, mean while we continue to receive complaints from motorists, perhaps we might get some clearer answers before our Forum in Feb, ?

Councillor Ron Whittaker

E-mail from Les Deller (Throop, Muscliff, Strouden, Townsend and Holdenhurst Area Forum Chairman) to Councillor Ron Whittaker

6th January 2010

FW: Castle Lane Traffic Lights

Hi Ron,

Hope you had a good Christmas.

As you can see I am still pushing for a full review of Castle Lane traffic sequencing which a number of others have mentioned to me. I hope that by getting a better flow down the whole of Castle Lane there will be less congestion and our roads will be less likely to be used as 'rat runs' which is what is happening at the moment.

Happy 2010

Les

TMSTH Forum Chairman

www.tmsthareaforum.info

E-mail from Andrew Williams (Team Manager - Safer and Stronger Communities) to Les Deller (Throop, Muscliff, Strouden, Townsend and Holdenhurst Area Forum Chairman)

6th January 2010

RE: Castle Lane Traffic Lights

Les,

I have had a telephone conversation today with Michelle Fillingham, from the Highways team. She did say she would email you an answer to your queries. I think basically the situation is that the Muscliff lights review has been delayed and now will take place in a couple of weeks, she should have some news about this before your next Forum meeting. The Castlepoint lights won’t be reviewed until April, as it is a much more complicated system it will also take longer to review.

Best Wishes,

Andy Williams

Team Manager - Safer and Stronger Communities

Partnerships and Improvement

E-mail from Les Deller (Throop, Muscliff, Strouden, Townsend and Holdenhurst Area Forum Chairman) to Martin Dover (Streetworks Manager Technical Services)

26th October 2009

RE: Castle Lane Traffic Lights

Dear Martin,

Many thanks for your message and I look forward to hearing the results of the review. Do you have any idea when this review will be undertaken and we will know what it shows?

Kind Regards,

Les

TMSTH Forum Chairman

www.tmsthareaforum.info

Reply from Martin Dover (Streetworks Manager Technical Services)

26th October 2009

RE: Castle Lane Traffic Lights

Les,

I will be forwarding your query to my signals designer, Michelle Fillingham, who will be undertaking the review of the Castle Lane West corridor which extends from East Way to Cooper Dean. The signals at Muscliff Lane are too distant from the others to create any vehicle progression and this is how they can be looked at separately.

We got our wires crossed regarding the signals you thought could be switched off. I assumed that when you mentioned the Castle Point islands you were just referring to the pedestrian/cycle crossings which cross Castle Lane West via the central islands.

Regards,

Martin Dover

Team Leader - Traffic Control and Information Systems

Streetworks Manager - Technical Services

E-mail from Les Deller (Throop, Muscliff, Strouden, Townsend and Holdenhurst Area Forum Chairman) to Martin Dover (Streetworks Manager Technical Services)

23rd October 2009

RE: Castle Lane Traffic Lights

Hi Martin,

Many thanks for your prompt reply to both messages it is most appreciated.

Can you please give me a bit more detail what you intend to undertake next April? Will it be a full review of the whole Redhill/Cooper Dean sequencing or a more limited review?

Sorry, but I do not understand your comment concerning the Castle Point lights. I have received a number of comments as well as being subject to the problem with the lights myself. They change to red even when you are approaching them and there are no other vehicles using the road. This is not only frustrating but I have seen on a number of occasions drivers going through the red light which I am sure is due to them not wanting to wait for the whole sequence to get back to allow them to legally proceed. This in my view is very dangerous and therefore serious consideration should be given to making them either part time or more sensitive to traffic flows.

Thanks again,

Les

TMSTH Forum Chairman

www.tmsthareaforum.info

Reply from Martin Dover (Streetworks Manager Technical Services)

23rd October 2009

RE: Castle Lane Traffic Lights

Les,

Due to pressures of work and our existing resources we have not been able to schedule any work on the Castle Lane corridor until next April.

It is very unlikely that we will get into the position of operating part time crossing signals (i.e. switching them off out of peak) as the lights only operate anyway when there is a demand.

Sorry, the earlier e-mail came to me direct and fell through the net of our mail logging system. I will respond today.

Regards,

Martin Dover

Team Leader - Traffic Control and Information Systems

Streetworks Manager - Technical Services

E-mail from Les Deller (Throop, Muscliff, Strouden, Townsend and Holdenhurst Area Forum Chairman) to Martin Dover (Streetworks Manager Technical Services)

23rd October 2009

Castle Lane Traffic Lights

Dear Mr Dover,

As expected at our recent Forum meeting there was great interest in the Castle Lane traffic light sequencing agenda item.

Please therefore would you let me know what is now planned concerning the sequencing of the traffic lights along Castle Lane from Redhill to the Wessex Way and the possibility of switching off of the traffic lights at the Castle Point islands when the majority of shops on the complex are closed.

I am not expecting immediate action but it would be extremely helpful if you would let Forum know what is planned and the timetable to undertaken any work.

Kind Regards,

Mr. Les Deller

TMSTH Forum Chairman

www.tmsthareaforum.info