Lights at junctions may be removed
9:00am Saturday 29th September 2012 in Latest News
SWINDON Council is considering completely removing traffic lights from four junctions in the town in a bid to improve traffic flow.
Following a review of all 76 traffic-signal controlled junctions, highways consultant Halcrow has recommended that lights should be removed at the intersections of Queens Drive and Frobisher Drive, Cricklade Road and Chapel Street, as well as Polaris Way bus gate and Wroughton park and ride entrance.
The consultant also recommended the Coate Roundabout and the junction of Station Road and Whitehouse Road as candidates, although Swindon Council is not proposing to take these forward at the moment as they are busier junctions.
The proposal comes as the cabinet continues a trial of part-time traffic lights at Mannington Roundabout to determine whether the scheme has increased road accidents.
Coun Keith Williams , the cabinet member for leisure and strategic transport, said: “You have got certain areas where lights were put in and we’ve never reached the situation where the traffic, even at peak periods, requires the operation of lights.
“There’s a little bit more care and attention required on the part of motorists when you are taking lights away from junctions, but what you will find is the traffic will flow at a more natural rate rather than being artificially impeded.
“Things like Polaris Way, you aren’t talking a great deal of effort to do that, and with the Wroughton park and ride, you aren’t talking about a lot of effort, so you would have thought by this time of next year, that would have been implemented, if not sooner.”
As part of the review, Halcrow is also recommending there could be potential improvements at 11 other junctions, including part-time signals at Meads Roundabout, on the Great Western Way.
Coun Williams said drivers would be given sufficient notice of any changes, which would be subsequently reviewed before being made permanent, but he was confident they would get used to them after a while.
He said: “We don’t want to jump in and make a lot of changes at once because traffic throughout Swindon is fragile.
“If you go making wholesale changes across the range of junctions, it makes it hard to identify the knock-on effects from theses changes, which is why Manning-ton has been subject to a 12-month review afterwards.”
Coun Jim Grant, the Labour group leader, said: “The purpose of traffic lights is to ensure traffic flow and driver and pedestrian safety.
“I have my doubts whether you could turn off a set of traffic lights permanently and safely, but I’m happy with them to do the experiments.”
to see if it’s possible.”