Authorised Box Junctions

If a box junction is to be enforced then it should comply with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 (usually abbreviated to TSRGD). However, if the Local Authority can demonstrate good reason why it is impossible to comply fully with TSRGD, and justify the need for the box junction, then the Secretary of State for Transport can, in exceptional circumstances, specifically authorise the use of a non compliant junction.

If there was a handful of such authorised junctions in the London area then you might believe the above statement, but just look at the list that has been authorised since enforcement began, particularly in 2006. It looks like Transport for London order authorisations by the container load and the Department for Transport (DfT) just rubber stamp them.

It would appear that TSRGD compliant box junctions are becoming the exception rather than the rule. The cynics amongst us might even suspect the DfT is being complicit in allowing Local Authorities to tax farm junctions that present drivers with difficulties.

Judge for yourself; the list is as follows:

2004

1. Junction of Park Village East/Prince Albert Road/Parkway, LB Camden (13th Feb)
2. Vauxhall Cross Interchange, Lambeth, TfL (18th March)

2005

1. High Holborn/Proctor Street, LB Camden (1st Feb)
2. St Giles High Street/Shaftesbury Avenue,
Southampton Row/Theobalds Road,
Kentish Town Road/The Castle, LB Camden (13th April)
3. Kentish Town Road/Fortress Road/Highgate Road, LB Camden (20th Dec)

2006

1. Stockwell Rd/Stockwell Park Walk, Marylebone Rd/Harley Street, Finchley Rd/Frognal Crt, Park Rd/Outer Circle, Seven Sisters Rd/St Thomas Rd, Finchley Rd/ Cannon Hill, Chelsea Embankment/Royal Hospital Rd, Battersea Rise/Bolingbroke Grove, Battersea Park Rd/Queenstown Rd, City Rd/Central St, Baker St/Marylebone Rd, TfL (19th Jun)

2. City Rd/Central St, Marylebone Rd/Harley St, Marylebone Rd/Seymour Rd, Lavender Hill/Elspeth Rd, Seven Sisters Rd/St Thomas Rd, Chelsea Embankment/Royal Hospital Rd, Finchley Rd/Frognal Crt, Battersea Park Rd/Queenstown Rd, Stockwell Rd/Stockwell Pk Wlk, Cromwell Rd/Earls Court Rd, East India Dock Rd/Upper North Rd, Upper Thames St/Arhur St/Swan Lane, Streatham High Rd/Pendennis Rd/Bechmead Ave, Wyndham Rd/Camberwell New Rd, Vauxhall Bridge Rd/Rampayne St, Eastern Avenue/Havering Rd/North Street, North Circular (Bowes Rd)/Brownlow Rd, Priory Rd/Christchurch Rd, Foxley Rd/Bolton Cres/Camberwell New Rd, City Rd/Provost Str, Finchley Rd/Boundary Rd, Baker, TfL (4th Oct)

3. Lea Bridge/Hoe St, Lea Bridge/Church Rd, Forest Rd/Hoe Street, Hoe St/Station Approach, Hoe St/Selborne Rd, Hoe St/Church Hill, St James’s St/Leucha Rd, High Rd/Bush Rd, High Rd Leytonstone/Church La, Billet Roundabout/Chingford Exit, Lea Bridge Rd/Argall Rd, High Rd/Gainsborough Rd, LB Waltham Forest (18th Oct)

4. A12 North Street, TfL (8th Nov)

5. Larkshall Rd/Hale End Rd, LB Waltham Forest (22nd Nov)

So, does the law need to be changed? No. Local Authorities need to work within the law, same as us motorists are expected to do.

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25 Responses to Authorised Box Junctions

  1. James Brown says:

    I think if you investigate the TSRGD a little bit further, you will find that in many junctions where a YBJ is necessary for Traffic Management purposes (i.e. the junction is continually blocked by queued traffic, preventing any cross-flow traffic from moving through the junction, and thus grid locking the area) it is impossible to meet the strict TSRGD requirements. For example, at a skewed junction in order for the YBJ to only cover the area of the junction and not extend unecessarily into the side roads, the internal angles of the corners are often outside of the range allowed in teh TSRGD of 60 to 120 degrees. In these situations it is necessary to get the junction specifically authorised. The TSRGD definitely needs to be amended to offer more flexibility.

  2. I would agree that TSRGD needs some revision and that the onset of enforcement has highlighted this need. Wholesale special authorisation just muddies the waters so that motorists do not know where they stand legally.

    YBJs are a good idea. Enforcement for ACTUAL obstruction is a good idea. Enforcement for POTENTIAL obstruction is a bad idea.

    Oh, and traffic surveys that prove that enforcement REDUCES congestion rather than increases congestion are an even better idea. I haven’t found one Local Authority so far that is even remotely interested in the flow of though their box junctions. All they are interested in is how many vehicles stop (Kerrching! £120 please!) .

  3. John says:

    There is an updated list covering upto September 2007 on the DfT website:

    http://www.dft.gov.uk/foi/responses/2007/foioct20071/foiyellowbox/foiresponseyellowbox

    I think they should publish authorisations as a matter of course. It should not be necessary to make an FOI request to get the information, which then goes out of date.

  4. John says:

    I received the following confirmations from the Deparment for Transport on 15th January 2008:

    1. The T-junction in Waltham Forest between High Road Leytonstone and Burghley Road does NOT have authorisation (indeed LBWF have not sought authorisation).

    (This one is a non-compliant box and is being enthusiastically ‘enforced’ by one of those cute little CCTV smart cars parked on the opposite side of the road slightly south of the junction. The PCNs issued are also non-compliant, so the whole thing is simply an annoyance.)

    2. The DfT has received an application to approve a REVISED non-standard box a bit further up, at the junction between Church Lane and High Road Leytonstone.

    (They had previously approved one for that same location, as noted above, but those markings are now faded beyond enforceability, presumably because they were intending to change them anyway. It will be interesting to see what new and exciting variation on non-standard will be implemented in the interests of greater revenue generation.)

  5. mike says:

    So the yellow box junction at Battersea Rise / Bolingbroke Grove is non-compliant. It encompasses a larger area than is required in diagram 1043 of the TSRGD, probably because it was designed in accordance with the Traffic Signs Manual in the 196o’s. I have received a FPN for entering the box, although I did not block any cross traffic movements. If the box was in accordance with diagram 1043, I would not have been on the box. What can I do apart from raise all this with TfL?

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