Petition to Transport for London (TfL) to make the Mitcham Lane / Ambleside Avenue junction safe

Date petition submitted: 
06 February 2015
Petition presented by: 
Darren Johnson (past staff) AM,
Petition presented at: 
London Assembly Plenary

Summary of petition

"Three people have died at the junction of Mitcham Lane and Ambleside Avenue in Streatham over the years. Traffic - particularly buses - traveling South down Mitcham Lane, frequently jump the lights when turning right onto Ambleside Avenue. In doing so, they go across a pedestrian crossing used by many children each day from St Leonard's Primary School, when the Green Man is showing. The time at this crossing is already too short for many people to get across safely, because of the mayor's London-wide policy of shortening crossing times. This is something which particularly impacts those using wheelchairs, older people and children. Transport for London say that there has to be another fatality or serious injury before action is taken. We, the undersigned, call on Transport for London to make the junction safer with measures including: Implementing a longer crossing time at this junction so children, older people and those with mobility impairments have enough time to cross safely Effectively monitoring and enforcing the traffic lights so bus drivers and others do not jump the lights Rephasing of the traffic lights so more time is allowed at the junction for southbound traffic to turn right"

Response information

Name of person responding: 
The Mayor
Response date: 
23 March 2015
Thank you for your letter of 6 February to Sir Peter Hendy about the petitions calling for Transport for London (Tfl) to improve road safety at the junction of Mitcham Lane and Ambleside Avenue. Following your letter, I asked Tfl to investigate the concerns raised regarding the operation this junction. Tfl has confirmed that an engineer has now investigated the matter and, as part of this, checked the signal timings and found that they meet TfL's standards and are compliant for safe operation. The 'green man' invitation to cross complies with current safety standards and is set at six seconds. However, I should note that this is purely an invitation to start to cross the road, not the total amount of time given to complete the crossing. Once the green man invitation has expired, the safety clearance periods are set to allow pedestrians to finish crossing the road safely before any opposing traffic movement can begin. During the site check, the engineer did observe driver behaviour and noted that vehicles turning right can violate the red traffic signals at this location. This results in vehicles progressing into the middle of the junction after the signals have turned red, and turning when the pedestrians have started to cross the road. This creates a conflict with pedestrians when they have already received the green man invitation to cross. The petitioners may be interested to hear that TfL is already in the process of developing an improvement scheme at this junction and will shortly be undertaking a public consultation to seek the public's views on its proposals. As part of this scheme, TfL is proposing to upgrade the red light cameras on Ambleside Avenue to improve safety. The new cameras will be able to monitor speeds as well as improve compliance with red signals. I have asked TfL to share more information about the consultation with you when it becomes available. Tfl will raise these observations with the Metropolitan Police Service, which is responsible for enforcement, as this is a behavioural issue and a moving traffic offence . Tfl also raised the matter with local bus operators to ensure that drivers are reminded of their duty to stop at red signals, particularly at this junction. Thank you again for writing.