Mile End roundadbout still too small

David Walker & Clive Geary at Mile End

Whilst the news that Highways England will try to fix Mile End roundabout… again… is welcome, they really should have gotten the design right the first time. Constant tinkering with Mile End Roundabout at vast expense hasn’t addressed its underlying problems. These are the same fundamental problems at Bayston Hill roundabout, Meole Brace. Namely, too small a radius to allow sufficient room for the services entrance, leading to too few gaps or gaps that are too small for emerging traffic, increasing driver impatience and increased accident risk.

At Bayston Hill that was partly fixed by lights, but only partly. Ironically it often works better when the lights breakdown! Removing the island altogether would be a better option there. Poor design often fudged to save cost, only ends up costing a lot more money in the long run.

At Mile End, the problems are only growing not diminishing.  The widening of the island and the addition of the entrance to the Innovation Park cost £4m. Why wasn’t it done right the then? It was obvious back in 2009 what size of the business park was envisaged and so they must have known what traffic flows from the park were likely to be.

David Walker, a Civil Engineering Survey from West Felton, said: “It was never going to be big enough to address the needs of the business park. It certainly wasn’t big enough to accommodate the park nor address safety issues on the island. The £4m was a complete waste of public money. Where was the oversight? Who is accountable for the waste?

“Just because the new spur can physically fit doesn’t mean it is safe to add it. The spur for the innovation park is totally inadequate for the volume and type of traffic that will use the park entrance.

“More recently the money spent on the revised lane markings was a waste of time and money. They are too narrow, at that radius, particularly for large articulated vehicles.” He said.

Clive Geary, a Driving Instructor from Weston Rhyn said: “The repositioning of the road markings has been of little help.

“Again, there is too much going on, too many lanes.

“The layout of the roundabout is now really a “spiral” arrangement and is confusing drivers.”

The road markings as you enter the roundabout from the A483 Welshpool direction onto the roundabout slightly cross over each other which is causing drivers to “swerve” as they become disoriented with which lane they need to be in.

Clive continued: “The truth of the matter is that there is insufficient space for three lanes, as they are far too narrow, both on the approach from the A5 Wrexham direction and on the roundabout itself.

“Heavy goods vehicles with their length are finding it difficult to maintain position in a lane.

“A conventional layout of a left-hand lane for left and straight across and a right-hand lane for right, as per the Highway code, would be far better, along with only two lanes to ensure sufficient space is available.” He said.

Now we know that a further £9m is going to be spent redoing something that should have been done correctly in the first place. What confidence will the public have that this £9m won’t also be a complete waste of money? The island’s radius needs widening to cope with the existing traffic from 5 spurs. Adding extra traffic for a 6th spur, shoehorned in, just wasn’t good enough on a major trunk road.

David said: “Let’s hope the new design properly accommodates the anticipated traffic flows from the park and the new houses for the immediate and the long-term future. Do it once and get it right.

“If you want traffic to flow it needs to be a roundabout design and one with a sufficient radius to allow sufficient visibility to allow traffic to merge without hindering the flow. Adding traffic lights – like Bayston Island – is pointless. You may as well do away with the island altogether and just have lights. Lights do not allow traffic to flow freely and could lead to more jams.” He concluded.

Maesbury Road junction is dangerous | Clive Geary

Clive Geary, a Driving Instructor from Weston Rhyn, says: "New Maesbury road junction is dangerous"

My name is Clive Geary. I am a Driving Instructor from Weston Rhyn. I believe the new Maesbury Road junction is dangerous and needs urgent action to remedy the problem. There have already been accidents, including an accident on the day the junction opened, after months of safety work. It simply isn’t good enough to hope people get used to the junction. Problems can and should have been designed out of the junction. Locals may get used to it but what about the 1,000s of vehicles that aren’t local. We should all demand better from Highways England.

Maesbury Road junction is dangerous- the lines are confusing drivers

The dividing line for the lanes has been extended out onto the A483.

New Maesbury Road Junction still an accident risk

Clive Geary, a Driving Instructor from Western Rhyn and Liberal Democrat campaigner explains some of the issues with the new Maesbury Road Junction which whilst sorting some issues has created other issues that have and could lead to further accidents 1 of 2

Posted by North Shropshire Liberal Democrats on Tuesday, 9 October 2018

On several occasions now, I have witnessed vehicles passing the red traffic light, going beyond the stop line and actually stopping out on the A483, in the path of oncoming traffic from the Mile End direction.

Drivers are seeing the traffic light on the far side of the A483, which repeats the traffic light that they should have stopped at. The line dividing the lanes has been extended out onto the A483 making is less clear where you need to stop. Removing those unnecessary lines would make it easier for drivers to see where they should stop when they see a red light.

Traffic Lights are badly sited causing confusion

On approaching the traffic lights from the Welshpool direction, the first set of lights are poorly sited. The first traffic light on the left-hand side of the road is obscured by traffic signs, this means that if a high sided vehicle is in the right-hand land a vehicle in the left lane can completely miss the first set of lights and think the next set, protecting the turn for the industrial estate are for them and therefore pass a red signal.

Clive Geary Maesbury Road unsighted traffic lights

Clive Geary, a Driving Instructor from Western Rhyn and Liberal Democrat campaigner explains some of the issues with the new Maesbury Road Junction which whilst sorting some issues has created other issues that have and could lead to further accidents 2 of 2 (Unsighted traffic lights)

Posted by North Shropshire Liberal Democrats on Tuesday, 9 October 2018

In addition, the set of lights protecting the right turn onto the industrial can be confused with the very first set of light protecting the traffic entering the A483 from the Maesbury entry.

I have already witnessed several occasions where different vehicles have passed the first red traffic lights, thinking that the next set of lights, being at green are from them and nearly hitting traffic entering the A483 coming from Maesbury.

There is also a slip road on the A483 to allow traffic coming from the Welshpool direction direct access onto the industrial estate. This slip road is not traffic light controlled. But due to the location of the 2nd set of traffic lights, vehicles are confusing a red stop signal which is not for them and stopping when they do not need to, leading to the risk of rear-end collisions. Or when they are entering the slip road, as it is not clear, they are failing to give way to traffic making a right turn onto the industrial estate from the Mile End direction.

Good design ‘designs out’ these problems

 

Any traffic junction should be readily and quickly understandable by motorists.

This junction was modified as the previous layout was deemed to be unsafe. The new layout is confusing and therefore is also unsafe.

The council has stated that drivers will get used to the new layout in time!

So, will the council be writing to every motorist in the UK, should they pass through or visit the Oswestry area, with a map of the new junction and instructions of what they need to do?

Surely a cheaper and safer option requiring less maintenance would have been a roundabout.

We should all demand better from Highways England. Maesbury Road junction is dangerous… fix it!


If, like Clive, you want to Demand Better from Highways England then please contact us a let us know what you think