Mad Road Signage at the Odeon

Alex asks:
I was traveling to the Odean cinema this evening and by mistake I drove into a “bus lane only”.I would like to find out if there is any cameras there and do I have to worry about being giving a ticket ??? 

There’s certainly a very odd piece of road management for car drivers coming from the direction of the O2 and wanting to turn right to go to B&Q /Sainsburys/Comet/ Odeon, where the ‘obvious’ place to turn is actually a bus-only lane; drivers are required to take the one immediately left of that. It is marked with No Entry signs, but isn’t clear if you’re seeing the junction for the first time. 

The Phantom replies:

I don’t think there are any cameras on the road itself, but if you were in front of a bus, or there was one coming towards you, they may have snapped you with an on-board camera – it happened to me once in Croydon while they were doing the tram network and the road was a dog’s dinner of signage. Croydon council must have made a fortune out of confused Phantoms. They certainly didn’t spend it on signs…

But yes, that junction is a total mess. It’s dangerous, too – there have been a number of accidents with buses recently, but  it ISN’T clear where cars have to go if they are turning right into the Odeon/ B&Q / Sainsburys (and soon to be Matalan) estate.

The ‘main’ road is a bus lane, and there are two ‘no entry’ signs, one either side, that seem to imply there is no entry allowed whatsoever. Even if you know where you’re going you really have to think twice. The driver is forced to go to the extreme left, which just feels wrong, especially if you know that when you get round the corner you’re not going to be allowed into the little service road that runs along the shops. Then the little entrance into the car park is surrounded by hedges (very nice but…) that again, look like they’re not the main entrance.

I’ve not actually committed this particular sin, but my brain has been tempted to – it takes serious concentration every time to get it right. From the other end it’s much clearer -people who go up the service road from that end generally know exactly what they’re doing (and always seem to be the arrogant, swanky-vehicle brigade who don’t give a damn about bus cameras anyway…) but  from the north, Alex, yes, it’s a real issue. You are not alone.

This junction really needs to be looked at – and not just for motorists. The bus accidents a year or so ago created a little frisson of tutting, but I’m not convinced that if anything at all was done about it, it’s made any difference. I can’t see that if IKEA come to the peninsula it’s going to get anything other than a lot worse.

Sorry there are no pics – I meant to go out and snap some but haven’t had a moment.

4 Comments to “Mad Road Signage at the Odeon”

  1. Mary says:

    Council transport staff have spent a lot of time trying to sort that junction out – following several accidents there one of which was a fatality – and they did make some changes. If you look on the Council website under Highways Committee there will be some papers which discuss what was done (I think sometime last year).
    The traffic lights and the buses are however controlled by Transport for London and I suspect they are interested in getting the buses across that junction quickly and the lights appear to be set for that.
    I will see that the right people get to see what you have said. .

  2. Adam says:

    Hi, I second this. I probably use this junction at least once a month, and every time I have to do a double take / panic that I’m about to cruise into oncoming traffic.

  3. Frank tells me that if you go to the TFL site you can find out whether there is a camera and what sort (

  4. GMV says:

    The whole peninsula road network is pretty confusing for new visitors. I live in GMV and so I guess to me it’s pretty clear if unusual, however I’d say every second or third time I’m out driving I spot someone going up a bus lane or even the wrong way up a road completely oblivious to oncoming traffic!

    It certainly doesn’t help that the roads are all in such bad condition and that the on-street markings are so badly worn.

    I think the bus lanes were originally supposed to be a guided busway (like in Cambridge:

    and I suppose this would have made it much clearer where to go. As it is I think it’ll only get fixed if someone goes head on into a bus… pedestrians being run over doesn’t seem to cut it for TfL’s priorities.