Charles Cross: Exeter Street lane closures

Charles Cross updateWe’ll get straight to the point; this isn’t good news. We’re going to have to restrict the Exeter Street entrance to Charles Cross roundabout to just one lane from Monday for a period of three weeks.

As you may have seen, we’ve been doing some work on a short piece of pavement outside of Buzz Bingo and when this work commenced a few months ago, we put a diversion in place that required pedestrians to go around the roundabout. Although it wasn’t the shortest diversion in the world, it was safe and we felt it was better to get somewhere late than not at all.

The problem is, a small minority of people didn’t follow this diversion. Instead, they wanted to risk their lives and the lives of motorists and cyclists by leaving the safety of the pavement to walk around the works and into moving traffic. Needless to say, we could not allow this.

As it happened, a break in the works meant that we were able to open up a temporary pavement around the works without restricting traffic flow whilst we looked for a temporary solution.

Exeter Street Junction

But now we need to finish this section of the scheme off, we’re going to have to close a traffic lane to work in and an additional lane for pedestrians to walk in, leaving just one lane for traffic.

Will this cause delays? Sadly, it’s bound to, as this lane will have to be closed 24 hours a day.

We’ve tried to think of several different way to avoid doing this but the fact it, the Council, along with our contractor Balfour Beatty, does not want anyone to get hurt on our site.

‘Put more signs out’ we hear you cry! We had four large signs in place on Exeter Street and a diversion map on the fencing. People were still ignoring them.

‘Put in fences to stop people going in the road’, you say. We have. The central reservation on Exeter Street is partially fenced, to discourage people from crossing four lanes of traffic. We even tried fencing off the pavement on Exeter Street to stop people getting in the road.

We even looked at building a scaffold bridge over the works, but this was not suitable for wheelchair users or pushchairs and there was nowhere to put the footings of the bridge.

We’re sorry, we know this measure won’t be popular. And we know it’s not perfect timing. But we’re sure you’ll understand that we have to protect people from harm at all times.