SOUTH WOODFORD: Residents demand safety improvements at roundabout

PEOPLE living next to one of Redbridge's busiest road junctions have demanded an end to their long wait for safety improvements.

Residents in South Woodford have fought to get extra pedestrian crossings and traffic calming measures installed at Charlie Brown's roundabout for more than a decade and have now called on Transport for London (TfL) to set a date for the work to be carried out.

A plan to install new traffic light crossings at the junction - which would have made it easier for people in nearby Maybank Road and surrounding streets to access George Lane and the Tesco supermarket in Southend Road - was put forward three years ago, only to be sidelined by TfL in 2009 due to lack of funds.

Frank Collins, of Maybank Community Association (MCA), said residents are fed up with waiting for TfL to act, a frustration which has increased since the body began a multi-million pound project to improve safety for pedestrians at Gants Hill roundabout.

He said: "When you see how much they're spending over at Gants Hill it's hard to understand why they couldn't ever spare anything for Charlie Brown's.

"Getting from one side of the roundabout to the other is much more dangerous than it should be.

"In the summer it's not so bad, but in the winter the underpass in Maybank Road gets flooded and can be difficult if not impossible to use.

"That's when you get people trying to cross the main road, which is where a young girl died a few years ago.

"We asked TfL to install cameras there to make it safer for people to use - which the council agreed to hook up to its system - but they said they couldn't afford that either.

"It's as if someone has to get killed there before anything is done."

Mr Collins said the MCA would now consider launching a petition calling on TfL to take action.

Fellow MCA member Tony Loffhagen, 72, of Maybank Road, said: "We've been fighting to get Charlie Brown's roundabout sorted out for years.

"It's time people's concerns were listened to."

The MCA will discuss the petition plan at its next general meeting on Monday April 26 at Mill Grove, in Crescent Road, South Woodford from 8pm.

A TfL spokesman said: "There were no accidents involving pedestrians at Charlie Brown's roundabout in Redbridge in the past three years, but in October 2007 preliminary investigations took place to establish whether signalised crossings should be installed to improve pedestrian access.

"It was calculated that the total cost of the works would have exceeded £3m and unfortunately funding is not available to proceed.

"However, we continue to ensure the roundabout and the roads leading into it are fully maintained. We would also be happy to investigate whether CCTV cameras could be installed into the Maybank Road underpass and will discuss this further with Redbridge Council."

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