§ Sir Barney Hayhoe
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) at what time the traffic lights failed at the Hogarth roundabout on the A4 at Chiswick on 10 February; and at what date and time they were repaired and functioning normally again;
(2) what action was taken to limit danger to vehicles emerging from Church road and Chiswick lane while the traffic lights were not working at the Hogarth roundabout on and after 10 February;
(3) what emergency arrangements exist for dealing with traffic problems when the traffic lights are out of action at the Hogarth roundabout on the A4 at Chiswick; and when these were implemented in respect of the lights failure on 10 February;
(4) what emergency road signs were set up to warn drivers on the A4 of the need for extra care at the Hogarth roundabout at Chiswick while the traffic lights were not functioning on and after 10 February;
(5) what steps he is taking to improve the liaison and co-operation arrangements between the Metropolitan police and those responsible for the functioning of the traffic lights at the Hogarth roundabout on the A4 at Chiswick.
§ Mr. Atkins
The failure of these signals was reported to the traffic control systems unit by the local police at 0808 hours. The unit's maintenance contractor was on site within five hours but was unable to make a quick repair because the fault is in a main underground cable which must be replaced. The contractor placed signs warning of the failed signals before each signalled junction. As the Church street and Chiswick lane junctions are not signalled, no warning signs were provided there.
Work is in hand to replace the damaged cable, it is hoped without the need to excavate the carriageway, as quickly as possible.
The traffic control systems unit manages all London's traffic signals as agent for the Department. It relies on the reporting of faults by the police, the public and, increasingly, automatic reporting systems. It operates a system of priorities for dealing with faults and works in close liaison with the police, the highway authorities, and the maintenance contractor.
I regret the inconvenience to travellers, but I am satisified that there was no breakdown in liaison in this case.