Ealing Council experiments with 'naked' junctions

Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians in Ealing will become part of a traffic-smoothing experiment, with three junctions to become more ‘naked’ in the autumn.

The council plans to remove traffic lights in a scheme aimed at reducing congestion. If successful, the experiment could be rolled out across the borough.

The junctions affected are those of:

  • Western Road and Montague Way
  • Twyford Avenue and Creffield Road
  • Gunnersbury Lane and Bollo Lane

Tim Gould, Ealing Council’s Transport Project Manager, said: "People don't like waiting at traffic signals, and signals often don't solve the problems they're meant to.”

Council has an open mind about the works
Mr Gould said, “We’ll see how it works with the traffic lights out,” he said, "If it's chaos on the first day we’ll live with it. If it's still bad by day three, chances are we’ll call up TfL and write it off to experience.”

Ealing Cycling Campaign’s co-ordinator David Lomas cycles through the Gunnersbury junction every morning: “That junction never used to have lights, so I'm willing to give it a go and see what happens.”

Early news reports reported the council as saying they would simply cover up the lights; however, Mr Gould said, “We were never just going to turn them off.”

Did the idea emanate from the Mayor?
Reports also attributed the move to a complaint from Boris Johnson about getting stuck in Ealing traffic jams.

Mr Gould said, “It just happens that Boris has said something about traffic lights in Ealing; that was incidental. Boris has his own ideas about smoothing traffic flow and those tie in well with ours.”