What County Highways Think Of Rawreth Lane

 

There’s a report coming to a council panel on Friday about Rawreth Lane – is it worthwhile spending hundreds of thousands of pounds to create a roundabout at the Rawreth Lane / Hullbridge Road junction?

Their answer is no – a proper roundabout might actually slow traffic down even more, and in any case they don’t think there’s much of a problem anyway. The conclusions to the report are:

 

“The conclusion based on the assessment to date is that the Rawreth Lane / Hullbridge Road junction operates within its capacity on normal days.  Flow approaches capacity during the afternoon peak for a relatively short period.

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Operations are such that relative small changes in demand or road conditions cause queuing and delays, as illustrated by the bus stopping on Hullbridge Road south, mentioned above.  Operations at the junction and in the area are very sensitive to changes in the network, such as the closure of Watery Lane.

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There have been two slight personal injury collisions at this junction in last three years.  Therefore does not meet criteria for casualty reduction intervention.

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The introduction of a full size roundabout with more weaving space and distance between entry points will increase the speed of traffic through the junction and reduce the eye to eye contact / interaction between drivers that currently happens at the mini roundabout.  This may lead to an increase in time delay for traffic entering the roundabout and in turn increase the queue lengths.”

We think quite a few residents will agree with not having a roundabout. But what about the County view that the junction  “operates within its capacity on normal days???” Perhaps the best thing to do is print their whole report below. Your thoughts and comments would be welcome!

 

ROCHFORD DISTRICT LOCAL HIGHWAYS PANEL

Rawreth Lane / Hullbridge Road, Rochford

 

Proposed Roundabout / Junction Improvement Options

 

Background

 

The Rochford Local Highways Panel is concerned about the traffic flows at the junction of Rawreth Lane / Hullbridge Road.  This junction is currently controlled by a mini roundabout. The LHP has proposed two roundabout options as per the attached drawings. The report below looks at the current traffic flows, congestion, collision data and the site constraints for the implementation of the proposals.

 

Traffic flows / Surveys

The Traffic Control Centre has monitored the flows at this site over a 5 day period (Monday to Friday) for two weeks (Monday 1 October 2012 to Friday 12 October 2012) via the service provided by Tom Tom which accurately detects stationary traffic on the network.  The final report states that on no occasion was stationary traffic detected on any approach to the roundabout.  Therefore this location is not classed as a congestion hot spot requiring intervention.

Turning movement traffic counts were undertaken between 07:00 and 19:00 on Wednesday 17 October, classifying vehicles by type at the junctions of:

  • Rawreth Lane and Hullbridge Road
  • Hullbridge Road and Ferndale Road
  • Rawreth Lane and Hambro Parade

The counts were done in preparation for detailed assessment of junction operations, including the two design options, both of which will cause reassignment of traffic currently using Mortimer Road.Automatic traffic counters (ATCs) on Rawreth Lane and on Hullbridge Road also recorded traffic for every 15 minutes from Saturday 13 October to Thursday 25 October.

 

ATC data

 

During the two weeks when the automatic counters were in place, Watery Lane was closed from 22 to 24 October and it was possible to record the effect on Rawreth Lane and Hullbridge Road.

The table below shows average days data and for the days that Watery Lane was closed.

 

Normal weekday

With Watery Lane Closed

% difference

24 hour flow

Rawreth Lane Eastbound

8852

9833

+11%

Rawreth Lane Westbound

8260

8910

+8%

Hullbridge Road Northbound

5719

7033

+23%

Hullbridge Road Southbound

5748

7029

+22%

08:00 to 09:00

Rawreth Lane Eastbound

734

910

+24%

Rawreth Lane Westbound

368

440

+20%

Hullbridge Road Northbound

191

226

+19%

Hullbridge Road Southbound

449

617

+37%

17:00 to 18:00

Rawreth Lane Eastbound

591

603

+2%

Rawreth Lane Westbound

796

770

-3%

Hullbridge Road Northbound

561

732

+30%

Hullbridge Road Southbound

372

424

+14%

There was a significant increase in traffic on Rawreth Lane and Hullbridge Road when Watery Lane was closed.  As shown by the smaller increase or even decrease in traffic on Rawreth Lane but significant increase on Hullbridge, it appears that some drivers avoided Rawreth Lane and probably used the London Road / Down Hall Road route instead.

 

Junction Operations

 The detailed turning flow data supported by video footage of traffic condition on 17 October, which was considered a normal day.  Based on the video footage it appears that:

  • Operations during the morning peak period showed little or no congestion except for when noticeable queues developed through the junction at 08:43 as result of a bus stopping 30m south of the roundabout on Hullbridge Road.  The bus remained stationary at the bus stop for approximately 2 minutes, with little opportunity for vehicles to overtake during this period.  The junction became locked and a queue extended along Rawreth Lane exceeding 150m, whilst the queue extended along Hullbridge Road (N) for more than 250m.  However, the junction returned to normal operation within 4 minutes of the bus moving off, which shows the junction works efficiently.
  • The only significant issue observed was in the afternoon peak period on Rawreth Lane eastbound between 16:55 and 17:55 with slow moving traffic exceeding 150 metres.  Delay at the give way line appears short with vehicles able to move off quickly.

Feedback from users indicated that severe congestion occurred in the study area when Watery Lane is closed.  This situation is not unique to this area when other roads in the area are closed.  Watery Lane was closed on this occasion for planned tree cutting works.

The conclusion based on the assessment to date is that the Rawreth Lane / Hullbridge Road junction operates within its capacity on normal days.  Flow approaches capacity during the afternoon peak for a relatively short period.

Operations are such that relative small changes in demand or road conditions cause queuing and delays, as illustrated by the bus stopping on Hullbridge Road south, mentioned above.  Operations at the junction and in the area are very sensitive to changes in the network, such as the closure of Watery Lane.

Collisions and Safety Implications

There have been two slight personal injury collisions at this junction in last three years.  Therefore does not meet criteria for casualty reduction intervention.

The introduction of a full size roundabout with more weaving space and distance between entry points will increase the speed of traffic through the junction and reduce the eye to eye contact / interaction between drivers that currently happens at the mini roundabout.  This may lead to an increase in time delay for traffic entering the roundabout and in turn increase the queue lengths.

Land

Option 1 – would require approximately 1,600 sqm (subject to detailed design)

Option 2 – would require approximately 17,600 sqm (subject to detailed design)

The local land owner has indicated that he is prepared to make the land available.  However this was for the original left turn lane option (see drawing XX) which has been dismissed because of the cost of moving the statutory undertaker’s plant which is estimated at £305,000.

Water Course

There is a water course to the northwest of the current mini roundabout.  This would require piping or bridging for the new roundabout.  The agreement of the Environment Agency would be required.

Statutory Undertakers Plant

There is significant utilities plant both under and over ground in the area that would require relocation.  The estimated cost of relocation is £305,000.

Policy

Rawreth Lane and Hullbridge Road are both Priority 2 routes so these proposals are not against policy.

Funding

S106 – There is currently £42,955 budget available.  This contribution is time limited and expires 29 October 2014.  It was proposed to use this funding to improve the current mini roundabout and improve the turning in to the shop access road.

Alternative schemes

Listed below are alternative options for this junction and locations within the Rochford area where congestion is an issue for operation of the network and would benefit from significant investment.

The costs are initial estimates and are subject to further site investigation and detailed design and final estimate.  No consultation has been carried out on any of these options.

  • Rawreth Lane / Hullbridge Road Area Improvements
  1. Relocate the south bound bus stop on Hullbridge Road to a new lay-by constructed on the verge immediately to the south of the current stop location.  £50,000
  1. Improve the current mini roundabout and right turn into service road for shops.  £43,000

 

  • Wider Area Improvements
  1. A129 London Road junction with Down Hall Road – signal installation with pedestrian facilities.  £500,000
  1. High Street junction with Websters Way – capacity improvements – widening to increase capacity; reconfigure signal staging and timing.  £400,000.

 

Conclusions

The construction of a full size roundabout at this junction will not improve capacity or traffic flows.  In fact delays may increase due to the possible increase in speed and reduction of interaction between drivers.

Consideration should be given to funding other alternatives which would bring bigger benefits for the wider area and better value for money.