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January 2015

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Broad Street Arena Traffic Light Switch-off Trial


10am on Tuesday 20 January saw the traffic lights on the Broad Street / West Street junction switched off for a six month trial to improve the environment for both pedestrians and buses. For buses the aim is to speed up journey times by avoiding the need to wait for the lights to change - the relatively low level of traffic meaning that there has not really been a need for traffic management for some years, other than to manage the narrow sections where the pedestrian crossings are placed. It is a busy pedestrian crossing, and some feel that the lights allowed elderly and disabled people to cross safely despite the majority who rarely wait for a green man. For most pedestrians the benefit is greater priority in an area that already looks similar to a pedestrian zone, the removal of queuing buses waiting for the lights to change, and slower moving buses as they approach to give each other priority through the narrow sections.

860 on 24 January 2015

860 meets First's 64001 coming out of the narrows on 24th - the vehicles were easily able to swing round each other in the centre.

434 on 24 January 2015

434 turning into West Street on 24th displaying it's revised Lime branding without Peppard Common along with some winter dirt from the rural roads.

The junction is basically ready-made to slow vehicles down as they pass through with raised crossing points and restricted flows that mean only a limited amount of traffic can pass through at one time. For pedestrians with disabilities, the crossing is on a level surface with no raised kerbs, and crossing points are defined by contrasting paving. The only real difference from a shared space is the inclusion of fences around the crossing and roadways, although even some of this was removed with the repaving of West Street last year. At the end of the trial Reading Borough Council are going to assess the effect on journey times, the benefit to passengers, pedestrian flows and ultimately whether the shared space concept has worked in this location.

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