Weird traffic light at three-way junction

Associate
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I am having trouble understanding this traffic light at this threeway junction.

See the exact photo in Google maps: Google Map View of the Junction

There are two lanes:
  • Lane 1 (left): Go straight only
  • Lane 2 (right): Go straight OR turn right.
The traffic lights adjacent to lanes 1 and 2 are not the same:
  • Lane 1 (left): Has two traffic lights (one light near the crossing line and one further away): They have an additional green arrow to allow going straight only.
  • Lane 2 (right): has two classic three-colour traffic lights -- again, one near the crossing line and another one further away.

The question is: When the green arrow (go straight only) on the left-hand lane (lane 1) becomes green, can the car waiting in the right-hand lane (lane 2) move off and cross the junction?

In other words, does the green arrow of one lane apply to the other lane that doesn't have the green arrow and is fully red?

Here is a more close-up view of the four lights: https://www.google.com/maps/@51.508...1vwmVI_A!2e0!5s20210801T000000!7i16384!8i8192
 
Soldato
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I doubt one light is green whilst the other red. Usually both lights will be green, but right hand turners must give way to oncoming traffic. Then the turn right arrow will appear signalling that they have right of way/oncoming traffic can stop.

Only a **** would stop if going straight on though and the next doors lane was green.

Edit: just spotted this is next to London Westfields - traffic light colours therefore entirely irrelevant.
 
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Soldato
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just spotted this is next to London Westfields - traffic light colours therefore entirely irrelevant.
Yeh I would agree. Nobody really knows what's going on around this area because of the Westfield extension.
They have completely borked a lot of the roads, signals and ground markings.

The place used to be a breeeze to get out of even in peak times, now the dread of leaving makes me not want to even bother visting.
 
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Associate
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Something tells me there's a back story here.
Indeed, there is a back story.

Until October 2015, the right-hand lane (lane 2) was only for turning right. Therefore, the traffic light configuration made sense then: only lane 1 had a green arrow for going straight because lane 1 is the only lane where you are allowed to go straight at any time.
Google map historical snapshot: https://www.google.com/maps/@51.508...XKhb_2jQ!2e0!5s20151001T000000!7i13312!8i6656

Around 2018, turning right was banned and both lanes were dedicated for go straight only, but the lights weren't changed: https://www.google.com/maps/@51.508...1iRI6hwg!2e0!5s20180201T000000!7i16384!8i8192

And the current configuration is as I explained above: https://www.google.com/maps/@51.508...1vwmVI_A!2e0!5s20210801T000000!7i16384!8i8192

So we know that the light configuration is for historical reasons.

Still, is there a chance that I could be caught on a camera with a photo of my car crossing a seemingly red light in the photo (when actually there's been a green arrow light on another lane) -- leading to an FPN (?)
Or did I have the legal right to cross this junction from the right-hand lane and go straight in such situation?
 
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Associate
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Are you saying the left lane had a green light and the right a red, you were in the right lane but went anyway?

They look like all the lights should be in sync to me so all 4 red, green or amber etc

The traffic light was exactly like this photo: https://www.google.com/maps/@51.508...MU32iAiA!2e0!5s20120801T000000!7i13312!8i6656

(This photo is an old snapshot from 2012 and the markings on the ground have changed, but the status of the lights was exactly like in this photo when I crossed it.

I was in the right-hand lane (where the brown car is in the picture).

Was I legally allowed to cross and go straight from the right-hand lane?
 
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I believe so yes.
As long as your lane says straight on is allowed (which it does per road markings) then the lights are allowing straight on traffic but all other traffic is stopped.

In theory I would say even if the lane didn't allow it going straight on would be fine, but likely get you a word if you spotted using the wrong lane in these circumstances.
Its not a crime to select the wrong lane.

I assume with that lighting combination the road on the right is allowing some traffic, maybe turning right also that would need to be able to filter in and that is why your prevented from turning right from the lane you were in.
 
Soldato
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The whole junction is a mess. Were you to get a ticket I would suggest contesting it on the complete lack of roadside signage. Road markings don't count as they're invisible when someone is on top of them. In heavy traffic, how are you going to know if there's a dedicated filter lane for turning right (or not) and also that the two lanes merge to one immediately on the lights.

I'm struggling to think of a way to make that junction worse, but council traffic planners are geniuses at it !
 
Soldato
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Indeed, there is a back story.

Until October 2015, the right-hand lane (lane 2) was only for turning right. Therefore, the traffic light configuration made sense then: only lane 1 had a green arrow for going straight because lane 1 is the only lane where you are allowed to go straight at any time.
Google map historical snapshot: https://www.google.com/maps/@51.508...XKhb_2jQ!2e0!5s20151001T000000!7i13312!8i6656

Around 2018, turning right was banned and both lanes were dedicated for go straight only, but the lights weren't changed: https://www.google.com/maps/@51.508...1iRI6hwg!2e0!5s20180201T000000!7i16384!8i8192

And the current configuration is as I explained above: https://www.google.com/maps/@51.508...1vwmVI_A!2e0!5s20210801T000000!7i16384!8i8192

So we know that the light configuration is for historical reasons.

Still, is there a chance that I could be caught on a camera with a photo of my car crossing a seemingly red light in the photo (when actually there's been a green arrow light on another lane) -- leading to an FPN (?)
Or did I have the legal right to cross this junction from the right-hand lane and go straight in such situation?
There isn't a red light camera for a starters. So no, you won't get a FPN.
 
Soldato
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Awkward, but that green arrow is actually for cyclists only. That red light (in the historical picture) is for all traffic to be stopped.

Or so the lycra brigade would have you believe...

In all seriousness, are you sure that turning right wasn't only blocked whilst the road works were in place? That would make more sense.
 
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Associate
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Awkward, but that green arrow is actually for cyclists only. That red light (in the historical picture) is for all traffic to be stopped.

Or so the lycra brigade would have you believe...

In all seriousness, are you sure that turning right wasn't only blocked whilst the road works were in place? That would make more sense.
How do you recognize that the green arrow is for cyclists only?
 
Man of Honour
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Don't think I've ever seen that - areas around where I live it is like:


Technically you shouldn't proceed past a red light regardless of what else the lights might be doing - but I'd imagine it is contestable.
 
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Associate
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Don't think I've ever seen that - areas around where I live it is like:


Technically you shouldn't proceed past a red light regardless of what else the lights might be doing - but I'd imagine it is contestable.
You are referring to a location on Google Maps where the righthand lane is for turning right only, so the cars on the righthand lane should be turning right.

However, in the location I questioned, going straight is allowed from the righthand lane (though historically it hadn't been allowed, but now it is).

Doesn't that make any difference between these two cases?
 
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