onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003


November 20th, 2012 |

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.


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.


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.”

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!



Rawreth Lane / Hullbridge Road, Rochford


Proposed Roundabout / Junction Improvement Options




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




Rawreth Lane Westbound




Hullbridge Road Northbound




Hullbridge Road Southbound




08:00 to 09:00

Rawreth Lane Eastbound




Rawreth Lane Westbound




Hullbridge Road Northbound




Hullbridge Road Southbound




17:00 to 18:00

Rawreth Lane Eastbound




Rawreth Lane Westbound




Hullbridge Road Northbound




Hullbridge Road Southbound




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.


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.


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


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.



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.

33 Responses to “What County Highways Think Of Rawreth Lane”

  1. 1
    Christine Paine:

    Were they actually looking at the right Rawreth Lane? No stationery traffic – who are they kidding. I’ve had a 5.30pm doctors appointment before now and it’s taken me 20 minutes to get from A130/Rawreth Lane traffic lights to Downhall Road surgery because of queuing traffic. I think they must have found a Rawreth Lane in the Outer Hebrides or somewhere like that and looked at it in error, because this really doesn’t describe our Rawreth Lane at all.

  2. 2
    brian guyett:

    Did the report allow for the hundreds/thousands of extra houses that will be looking to use Rawreth Lane? If not, why not?

  3. 3
    Rayleigh Resdient:

    Both bus stops by Hambro Parade cause a lot of congestion, why not remove them and use the ones in Downhall Road instead. It’s a very short walk around the corner and at least one of them has a shelter.

  4. 4

    RR – Its quite a long walk if you are carrying a couple of bags of shopping …. Maybe they could be moved slightly but they ARE needed.

  5. 5
    Rayleigh Resident:

    You have to look at the bigger picture, how many cars are stuck in jams waiting for the bus to move off, the amount of fuel that is wasted, the increased pollution, countless people held up / late etc, all for a couple of shopping bags….

  6. 6
    Ian Jordan:

    I often drive West along Rawreth Lane around 6pm and the traffic going East is slow moving all the way from Asda most days & often almost the whole length of the road.

  7. 7
    Ian Jordan:

    A lot of elderly people wouldn’t want to walk the extra distance Rayleigh Resident thinks would not be a problem, when they have already walked from roads not on bus routes to get to the nearest bus stop in the first place.

  8. 8
    Ian Jordan:

    As you can see from your picture at the start of the article, there is no queuing at the roundabout ;-)

  9. 9

    Can the pitiful amount of money available be used to provide bus lay byes so removing one source of congestion .I thought originally there was 100,000 pounds available for that junction from the asda section 106 .So where has that gone? It is going to be fun with extra housing to the east .The core strategy is badly flawed with lack of assessment of transport needs .

  10. 10
    Rayleigh Resident:

    The RDC report is based factual surveys, how many old people laden with countless bags are we talking about – 3 a day, 5, 25, 50 ??

  11. 11

    I come home along the east-bound Rawreth Lane usually between 5:30pm and 6:30pm, and most nights you hit start-stop traffic as you approach the Asda lights. If Watery Lane is shut (and it often is), or the A127 has a problem east of the Wier, Rawreth Lane eastbound will be at a standstill from the Playground near Bedloes Corner, and the A129 London Road will have cars queueing on the A1245 to turn onto it eastbound.

  12. 12
    Ian Jordan:

    How many buses stop each day? one an hour maybe two? I don’t know where the grass verge to the South of the existing bus stop is that could be made into a new bus lay-by, but I take it you are not a bus user.

  13. 13
    Mark Lydford:

    Lots of these “old people” will also have to contend with crossing over either Downhall Road or Hullbridge Road / Hambro Hill in order to get to the Southend bound bus stop. Not easy at the best of times.

    What about the “young people” trying to cross over as well, especially with pushchairs etc.

  14. 14
    Rayleigh Resident:

    Well we have covered the “old people” and the “young people and pushchairs” angle so I guess that only leaves the “middle aged” people stuck in the traffic jams.

  15. 15

    Three thoughts:
    1) Those bus stops are needed by people.
    2) One or two attempts have been made in the past to reposition one of them where the verge is wider, but without success.
    3) Don’t let ourselves be fooled – if the roads concerned cannot cope with – gasp – a bus stopping for 2 minutes, are they really fit for purpose ?

  16. 16
    Hullbridge Resident:

    If you improve the traffic flow along Rawreth Lane, you have no argument against the new housing developments because the roads will then be able to “cope” with the extra traffic.
    Rawreth Lane has become slower due to develoments such as Macro, Asda, new housing and the traffic lights that are there to control traffic flow.
    If there has been only “two slight personal injury collisions at this junction in last three years” that can’t be a bad system.
    I would personally rather have slow traffic and a bit longer jouney time than a masive housing estate and more accidents.
    I use Rawreth Lane daily during both rush hours and it is frustrating, I just leave a little earlier and at the moment it works.
    Good thread by the way.

  17. 17

    In reply to Ian Jordan, there are four No.20’s per hour in each direction and one No.3 per hour, again in each direction. A total of 10 buses per hour.

  18. 18
    Rayleigh Resident:

    There are 2 issues here, the number of buses and the number of people that use them. We know the number of buses so how many people would need to stagger, laden with heavy bags, the extra 200 yds or so to Downhall Road and being mindful that they will, of course, be put in danger of instant death the moment they cross the road.

  19. 19

    Hullbridge resident.Take your point, and agree 100% about developement in Hullbridge as well as points East .I also feel agrieved by the overdevelopement of west Rayleigh .There were several good alternatives put forward in earlier consultations I.E. land near to Rayleigh Weir ,land off Eastward Road at present a garden centre ,a site in the centre of Rawreth all
    these added together would have provided over 600 housing units .They all had the advantage of NOT using Rawreth Lane .But of course they all added to further congestion to the overall infrastructure , which is no longer adequate for existing users let alone what the future will bring .In my previous post I was trying to make the point of what Essex Highways do with section 106 monies , indeed what do they do with their overall budget as well .We are constantly reminded by the juddering of our vehicles as we hit yet another pot hole ,also I keep asking how much the monthly “maintenance” of watery lane is costing ,seems to me that a disproportionate share is spent there.

  20. 20
    Rayleigh Resident:

    Another suggestion would be to make the stops “active” between the hours of 9.30am and 5.00pm Mon – Fri. That way the rush hour traffic can flow and the old and young people can use them during the day.

  21. 21

    What a load of rubbish. It’s not only the old and young that use buses and those with seniors bus passes don’t use them until after 9 o’clock anyway.

  22. 22

    The traffic flow is not helped by the traffic lights in Rawreth Lane The ASDA lights seem to take ages to change when travelling towards Rawreth, Often in the rush hour you seem to be waiting at the lights and nothing is happening in Priory Crescent. Heading in the other dirction towards Hambro Hill, the right filter into Downhall Park Way does not seem to be working. I find that when Watery Lane is closed it create problems in Rawreth Lane, can Watery Lane be widened and money spent on improving flooding issues?. as for the Hambro Parade I am not an expert but could the pavement be made smaller and the cars park at an angle, sometimes I have been held up due to some inconsiderate drivers mostly delivery vans
    blocking access, I am not sure how many extra spaces could be created. Maybe worth a look.

  23. 23
    Rayleigh Resident:

    Green belt, have you read the post ?? That’s why you could have the stop active after, say, 9.30 when the old people will use it. Anyway I look forward to reading your suggestions on how to improve things.

  24. 24
    Chris Black:

    We’ll be writing this afternoon about the highways meeting on Friday – there were some useful discussions.

    So hold back on any more comments till you see what we write ;)

  25. 25

    RR. My point is that the stops have to be active before 9.30am and after 5pm to accommodate all ages. Try telling the bus companies to suspend bus stop use just to accommodate the problems of road traffic commuters. I don’t think so!! We should be encouraging the use of public transport.

  26. 26
    Rayleigh Resident:

    Greenbelt, For a moment I thought that your post contained some useful ideas and suggestions on how to improve things.

    The point you are still missing is that the people using buses early and late are more likely ( but not, of course, exclusively,) to be working and able to walk the short distance around the corner to Downhall Road.

    Anyway lets call it a draw as we are very unlikely yo agree.

  27. 27
    brian guyett:

    Sorry guys, I think you are missing the point here. With all respect to Hullbridge Resident, the extra houses ARE going to happen, whether or not the road is improved.

    That battle has been lost. Its time to focus on the future. What is the best way to improve East/West traffic flows, whilst minimising the impact on residents? Short term solutions will simply waste what little money is available.

  28. 28

    Brian and Rayleigh Resident.
    You may be interested to know that I have already addressed this problem with a suggestion for future development of the road infrastucture. I am submitting this again as it seems you are unaware of it.

    July 29th, 2012 at 07:07

    The time has come for real solutions to the transport infrastructure, and for something which at least bypasses some of Rawreth Lane. To achieve this, I make the following suggestion.
    Rawreth Lane and Watery Lane will undoubtedly fall victim to major traffic increases when the two new sites are developed on the green belt adjacent to the Rawreth Industrial Estate road and the proposed site adjacent to the east end of Watery Lane.
    It has also been suggested that Watery Lane would be difficult to redevelop westward as the link to Beeches Road and Battlesbridge, makes connection to the A1245/A130 difficult.
    Firstly, I strongly propose that the stretch of Rawreth Lane between, the junction now being discussed at Hambro Parade and the Rawreth Industrial Estate road, be left out of any new development altogether as there is no scope at all for extra capacity.
    Instead I suggest that a new north bound road is provided from a point in Rawreth Lane, somewhere near Madrid Avenue, which would then link with a section of the eastern end of Watery Lane at a point where it could be easily widened to meet the future needs of the Hullbridge development and, further to the east of the district if necessary.
    Some sort of relief road like this will be essential by 2020 and beyond, so please let’s start thinking about the wider aspects of these new developments that are being forced upon us and NOT even try to ‘make do and adapt’ the inadequate transport infrastructure we already have to endure.
    I guess this will not be looked on too favourably by the occupants of properties at the western end of Rawreth Lane, for which I am sorry, but those of us living at the more developed end are having to put up with greater congestion and pollution week by week and it’s now time for some positive action and discussion.

  29. 29
    brian guyett:

    Spot on, Greenbelt. Couldn’t agree more.
    This seems so obvious, so why do our politicians keep on avoiding discussing the issue?

  30. 30
    Rayleigh Resident:

    As if to the prove the point the whole of Rayleigh is, this morning, in total gridlock…

  31. 31
    Ian Jordan:

    Tomtom Traffic when I made it in to work today with the A1245/A127 shut due to flooding & the Weir underpass closed Westbound

  32. 32
    brian guyett:

    There were also queues from rayleigh through Hockley into Hawkwell and Ashingdon. Never seen anything like it in over 30 years.
    Presumably the exceptional weather was the cause(?)but the worry is that forecasters are predicting it will become more frequent.

  33. 33

    There were some interesting pictures of a heavily flooded Rayleigh in the windmill museum dating back to around the early 1900s, if my memory serves me correctly. I recall a photo of Eastwood Road and also the High Street being largely underwater. I hope the photos are still there- such a shame when the Historical Society voted that the running of the museum should be passed to RDC.

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