A Scenic Tour of Bromley Roads
The following is a tour of some of the common road congestion points in Bromley. These pictures were mainly taken between 1.0 and 3.30 pm on a week day, which is by no means the busiest time of day, but as you can see, there are normally queues of traffic even then. You may have thought that our logo above is a picture of Bromley, but clearly it can't be as the traffic keeps moving!
Click on the thumbnail pictures below for a larger format picture. Note that these pictures are available to anyone free of charge so long as an acknowledgement is made of their origin being the Bromley Borough Roads Action Group.
The tour starts on Sevenoaks Way which leads to the Orpington Bypass. The picture shows the junction of Sevenoaks Way and Leesons Hill, just before the railway bridge - one of several railway bridges in the borough that act as bottlenecks. Sevenoaks Way is one of the busiest roads in the borough with up to 35,000 vehicles per day using it - this includes a large proportion of HGVs and other heavy traffic with the result that it is also a pollution black spot.
We are now going to take the A222 route which runs off the A20 through Chislehurst into Bromley and on towards Beckenham (with a few minor detours on the way). Firstly we come along Perry Street (the picture was taken looking east at about 3.30 when it was already congested from the school run traffic).
The next picture also shows Perry St, at the junction with Ashfield Lane. This junction was "improved" a few years ago on safety grounds but unfortunately the right filter lane into Ashfield Lane is now too short with the result that traffic turning right blocks traffic on the main road as you can see in the photograph. Despite a number of complaints, there are no plans to fix this problem.
We now come to the Chislehurst War Memorial junction. Long queues of traffic form in all directions at this junction. The Chislehurst to Orpington direction is a particular problem because of the narrow width of the road, which results in any larger vehicles such as buses wanting to turn right blocking all other traffic. Widening of the junction has been looked at several times but has always been thwarted by the Commons Conservators.
A quick detour to look at Chislehurst High Street. Traffic queuing to enter the High Street as usual which has been congested ever since new traffic lights were installed and parking arrangements changed. Results in standing traffic in the High Street for a lot of the time with resulting air pollution.
Another detour to Manor Park Road, Chislehurst. The scene of the original foundation of B.B.R.A.G. where objections arose to the traffic calming scheme now in place - this looks busier than it normally is because the photograph was taken at school closing time so the parked cars are parents waiting to collect their children. The first picture shows an example of "three-across" speed cushions.
The second picture shows the same road and how parking alongside a "two-across" speed hump forces people directly over the hump, as opposed to being able to straddle them. In summary, a poorly designed traffic calming scheme in a road where it was totally unnecessary anyway.
The next view is looking towards Summer Hill and Chislehurst train station. Because of the steep hill and the junction at the top with Watts Lane, Old Hill and Camden Park Road, this stretch of road is normally heavily congested. This is particularly so in the evening as commuter traffic tries to escape out of Bromley onto the A20 and hence to the motorway network. However this picture was actually taken in the morning rush hour which just shows that it is jammed up most of the time.
Further along we come to Bickley Park Road. This picture shows the junction with Blackbrook Lane (looking west along Bickley Park Road). Note the classic route that large vehicles take over mini-roundabouts - namely straight over. This junction also creates large queues in all three directions during rush hours.
This photograph shows the junction of Barfield Rd, Thornet Wood Rd and Hawthorne Rd on Blackbrook Lane. This junction is notoriously congested during school opening and closing times and this picture actually shows that the queue of traffic in the morning up to the junction with Bickley Park Road stretches past this point, even when the school is not open. Blackbrook Lane is of course the location of another traffic calming scheme which would have been much worse without the intervention of BBRAG.
And now on to the Shortlands junction on Beckenham Lane. Another example of a railway bridge constricting traffic which is where we started. Traffic stands in Beckenham Lane for most of the day, queuing to get under the bridge.
Yes traffic, traffic, everywhere. Hopefully this tour has given you some impression of the traffic problems in the leafy London suburb of Bromley. If you have any suggestions for additions (and we missed out a detour down Homesdale Road for example), then please let us know.