The junction was changed to create a ‘Right Turn’ from Creynolds Lane onto Stratford Rd (towards the M42). This is effectively a reinstatement of a right turn that was originally in place before the development of Monkspath/Hillfield and Tesco’s super store.
The junction works came about because of the development on Blythe Valley Park (BVP) which will see the development of 750 homes, a 250 room care facility, some local commercial support for these new building (shops etc) and the ongoing investment on BVP which is seeing substantial business growth. Work has already begun on half of the proposed homes.
The works have been paid for by the developers, IM Properties, who instructed contactors but the scheme they put forward had to be agreed by the council’s highways officers.
There are, in essence, the following areas of concerns from local residents and I will address each one; the ‘right turn’ itself; new traffic lights on A34 for vehicles travelling towards the M42; and the ‘third lane’ for vehicles travelling north thus creating a filter system.
As I have posted previously, the rationale behind the reinstatement of this turn is to help future proof the junction when/if vehicle movements increase because of the anticipated BVP traffic. Once people move into the new homes and children attend Cheswick Green Community School a school bus service (funded through agreements with developers) will take children to and from BVP and the right run will assist this service as well as a funded additional bus service.
You can also read in the report that monitoring of traffic movements saw 168 vehicles at peak hours turn left from Creynolds Lane, do a u turn at the traffic island and then drive south towards the M42. This was naturally at peak times but movements continued throughout the day. These vehicles can now turn right onto the A34 to make this stretch of the highway more efficient.
New Traffic Lights:
Residents from Monkspath and Hillfield who turn left onto the A34 from Monkspath Hall Road now find they ‘sometimes’ are inconvenienced by a new set of lights that might cause them to stop. There used to be pedestrian lights at this location which now allows traffic to turn right from Creynolds Lane.
In theory, and also really in practice, there should be no additional delay in overall time it takes to drive towards the M42. The amount of traffic that used to do the ‘U turn’ at the island is now non-existent. Therefore, there is less waiting time at the island because there are no vehicles performing a full 180 degree turn – some 168 per hour at peak times.
The Third Lane –Filter lane:
I feel this is the main concern and people feel it is an ‘accident waiting to happen’.
Yes, the lane is not very long but I have found it safe enough to use myself. It is, in theory, a simple case of allowing vehicles to filter, but as we know people sometimes do not like that. It is usually the case that driver behaviour complicates things.
I do not feel there is enough traffic movement to make a lane for a ‘left turn’ only into Creynolds Lane as some have suggested but this may be the case if and when traffic movements increase. So what we are left with is three lanes becoming two a little further along the road, much like further down the A34 at the Tesco island.
As with all new road layouts it will be continually monitored and if the filter lane does lead to an increase in collisions then remedial action will be taken. But it must be recognised that driver behaviour will be a factor, as it is in most road accidents/collisions.
Lets get used to the new layout and appreciate the rationale behind it. Highway officers are tasked with making vehicle movements easier and safer but the sheer number of vehicles on the road mean schemes are adopted that at first are not seen to be viable. We have seen that when the island at Monkspath Hall Road by the Fieldhouse was reduced from three to two lanes and the amount of Facebook posts/comments when this was proposed and then established.
The full report that went to planning committee that relates to BVP can be read on my website here: pl201600863maoot-blythe-valley-park-blythe-gate with a previous post on this site here: https://cllrkenhawkins.co.uk/2018/09/06/creynolds-lane-junction-works/
In the meantime, myself and fellow ward Councillor James Butler, who use this junction almost daily, will continue t monitor things and you can reach us via Facebook/Messenger or email. Please do not hesitate to contact us.