Here is an update from Council Officers on the Council’s work to solve the traffic problems around Olympia. This is taken directly from an email providing the update. All comments please send to email@example.com and I will forward to the relevant council officers.
Following the meeting that was held on 15th October 2015 Olympia have indicated that they are making some immediate changes to their event procedures. Officers were of the view that these changes would produce some immediate improvements in particular to the traffic congestion in the surrounding area.
ACTIONS: Both Highways and Environmental Health will be regularly visiting the venue in the lead up to Christmas to monitor traffic management.
Olympia Way is not public highway and residents may not be fully aware of this because there are no road barriers to suggest that it is private land. This does mean that the Council has no powers to enforce against parked or waiting vehicles on Olympia Way and the owners are required to take their own measures in relation to enforcement as the usual legislation that we rely on does not apply. Olympia are legally entitled to close Olympia Way although as far as we are aware this does not occur regularly. They have agreed to explore the redevelopment of Olympia Way to facilitate vehicle holds and ongoing discussions will be held on this.
ACTIONS: Officers and Olympia will resurrect efforts with TFL to increase the opening of the district line to Olympia for large events as that would ease traffic congestion.
Across all of the service areas there have been relatively few recorded complaints about issues at Olympia. However, we will continue to collate our records so that we have a clearer picture of any long term trends. We are also exchanging information between Council departments so that all officers concerned are aware of the wider issues. Over the next few weeks we are compiling data every Monday, Thursday and Friday around the area.
ACTIONS: Officers are carrying out an in depth review of Olympia’s risk assessments to ensure they are fit for purpose and that they are being implemented correctly. In particular they will be examining the arrangements for stewarding and for the vehicle – pedestrian segregation on site for small, medium and large events.
Six additional events per year will require the one way system to be put in place in addition to the London International Horse Show. The one way system has historically worked well when used for this Horse Show event and it was on this basis that it was rolled out to accommodate the additional events. The one way system is able to be introduced through the implementation of a Temporary Traffic Management Order (TMO) which allows sections of Blythe Road and Maclise Road to be made one way and for waiting restrictions in other nearby roads to be amended. The TMO provides flexibility in terms of how the one way system is managed. It does not require the one way system to be put in place for the full duration of the additional events. Officers have already discussed with Olympia the need to only implement the one way system on targeted dates rather than the entire license period of the events. Olympia has agreed to take the TMO down when not in use and only deploy it when necessary.
ACTIONS: Officers will review whether these arrangements are fit for purpose. It is important to monitor the arrangements so as to establish whether it is a deficiency in the TMO or whether it is the implementation of the TMO by Olympia and their management arrangements in particular of the traffic intake. The TMO expires on 31 December 2015 and Officers will be reviewing whether additional elements need to be included before drafting a new TMO to cover the following calendar year’s list of events. They will also continue to work with Olympia to reduce the amount of time the one way system is in place for events.
ACTIONS: A review of the traffic calming arrangements in the Blythe Road area is included in the Council’s transport Local Implementation Plan for 2016/17.
The Highways Team will be conducting a parking consultation with the two CPZ immediately to the North and South of Olympia respectively. This consultation will be going live on the 2nd November 2015. The consultation covers the introduction of weekend controls in the two zones.
Olympia have indicated they are prepared to help with the cost of enforcement officers and this will be explored further.
Officers will also be reviewing the waiting and loading restrictions on Maclise Road and Blythe Road as part of a current programme this year to review amendments to signs and lines in the area.
ACTIONS: The parking consultation will provide important feedback on the wishes of the population of that area and officers will review the results and present recommendations to the Cabinet Member.
Extra CCTV cameras may be able to be added to the Hammersmith Road stretch where there are currently none as works on this road will take place early in 2016. This would enable the Council to monitor traffic levels and congestion along Hammersmith Road more closely and to engage with Olympia in real time to implement suitable mitigation measures.
The general traffic access and egress around Olympia is limited and changes to the restrictions on movements at certain junctions would compromise safety and adversely affect traffic flows along key strategic routes. Transport for London are responsible for all traffic lights so any traffic layout options would be a decision for them to make.
Officers from all service areas were in agreement that there is room for improvement in respect of the way the event is being run by Olympia, and immediate improvements have been identified. Through officers monitoring visits over the next few months we will be able to assess whether Olympia are capable of achieving and maintaining something that is satisfactory. Active dialogue will continue with the venue management.