Works have begun at the old Arla site on a major development including Asda, an 11-screen cinema, and petrol filling station, which will create over 530 jobs in the area on completion. The site is set to open to the public in March 2017.
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Two other leading supermarkets – Lidl and Aldi – are also about to arrive along Victoria Road, as the area is significantly transformed.
An image of the new Arla site designs from Citygrove
Householders living nearby have been told that road works would be going on for five weeks, as of 29 March.
Kevin Lake, project director at Simons Construction, said in a letter that the developers would be doing their utmost to avoid disruption but diversions will be in place during this period.
Work will take place around Victoria Road, Long Drive and West Mead.
Hillingdon is Here has asked Hillingdon Council for details of the works and any possible related disruption but despite repeated attempts since March 13 we have yet to be given a response with the details.
However, Andrew Rennie, managing director at property development and investment company Citygrove, which is responsible for the Arla project did provide details.
He said the plans involve converting the two traffic light junctions by West Mead into one junction and slip roads being widened in and around the site.
Whilst accepting that the work will take time to complete, Mr Rennie insisted the company will ensure it keeps disruption to a minimum by only working on small sections at a time.
He told Hillingdon is Here: “We will be starting works to the highway at the end of March and we will be doing little bits at a time. They will be taking a little bit of time to finish, but that’s down to us trying to minimise disruption by working on a small section at a time.
“Currently, there are two traffic light junctions which are in very close proximity to each other. One is serving what we call the Aviva site, which is being fitted out at the moment for further retail, and one which is serving the Arla site which is by West Mead. We are changing that to just one traffic light junction which will serve both the retail warehousing that is next door and also our site.
“Also, the Long Drive/Victoria Road link doesn’t work very effectively at the moment and we are re-phasing all the traffic lights and providing further slip roads and widening the slip roads into the junction to be able to make traffic turning movement a lot better.
“Also, along the approaches to the junction on Victoria Road from the east to the west, we will be widening the road to make traffic turning left or right a lot better.”
Other work will include traffic light sequences being linked and the insertion of more pedestrian islands along Victoria Road, he said.
Mr Rennie believes this will improve congestion and traffic flow.
He said: “We are also putting some central refuge pedestrian islands on the Victoria Road junctions. At the moment, if anyone crosses the road it stops all the traffic. By putting central refuge islands along the road, people will then be able to cross the road in phases. Effectively, that works a lot better.
“Also, at the moment, the pedestrian crossing outside the tube station works independently compared to the other traffic lights. What we are going to do is link up all of the traffic lights so that they are all linked together and they are timed not to cause congestion when one says green and the other says stop.
“The green and red lights will work in harmony with the other traffic lights. That will involve the traffic lights at the site entrance, Victoria Road/Long Drive and the pedestrian crossing. So there will be more capacity within those junctions to cope with the traffic that is on the road.”
Mr Rennie also reassured residents that Citygrove is "very confident" that the parking spaces to be provided on the site means visitors will have no need to park in nearby roads.
He said: “There are over 500 parking spaces. There is also separate car parking within the residential scheme for residents. So we are very confident that there is enough car parking on site and that there is no need for visitors to the commercial scheme (Asda, cinema) and or to the residents scheme to need to park in any of the surrounding roads.
“There are more than enough car parking spaces on site and there are also spaces in the retail warehousing scheme which is the scheme next door, if for any reasons, any extra space was needed in a peak period. We don’t believe that will be needed. 500 spaces for the food store and the cinema is sufficient.”