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Crazy junction

Your recent report about the sad accident on Thamesdown Drive reflects the problems that this particular road has which are exacerbated by bad design and the wrong phasing of traffic lights.

Last week I had to travel to Cheltenham on several occasions leaving Swindon in the morning rush hour and returning in the evening rush.

Traffic was tailed back from the junction with the A419, on one occasion stretching back through Haydon Wick on to Westfield Way. This is caused by the crazy junction with the A419 which is counter-intuitive with northbound traffic turning right and there is constant lane changing as people get in the wrong lane. The bottleneck is also caused by the fact that both Thamesdown Drive and the A419 are dual carriageways but the link between the Groundwell Junction and the bridge over the A419 to Blunsdon and Highworth is single carriageway.

The phasing of traffic lights on the slip road from the A419 in the evening rush hour is such that it causes tailbacks with stationary traffic on the very fast main road - a very dangerous situation.

There is another example of bad design and poor phasing of lights and that is on the Great Western Way at the roundabout leading to Sainsbury’s and the Outlet Centre. With four roads joining at this point, it seems crazy to have traffic lights on three of the roads but not from Sainsbury’s. One has to take one’s chance to enter fast swirling traffic. Furthermore the phasing is such that again cars are at a standstill sticking out into the traffic flow on the roundabout while other cars are accelerating away from the other traffic lights.

One wonders whether the members of Swindon’s Highways Department ever travel on Swindon’s roads.

Tony Mayer, Wheatlands, Haydon Wick

Democracy in action

John Walsh asks whether it is ‘democracy’ when only 37 per cent of a ‘membership’ vote to change the rules (SA September 28).

He is of course referring to the EU referendum vote which saw the highest-ever voter turnout of 72 per cent, considerably higher than the 1975 referendum.

What may prove of interest to Mr Walsh is that in the 20 general elections held since 1945 no single party ever received more than a 50 per cent share of the votes cast, and no single party has ever received more than 40 per cent support of the total electorate (what Mr Walsh refers to as ‘membership’)

In 11 of the elections the winning parties vote majority (by ‘members’) was smaller than the Leave majority over Remain in the 2016 referendum.

Strangely, no person, party or pressure group has ever initiated a widespread campaign to suggest that any general election result should be annulled, changed or the process ‘run again’ just because the electoral support for the party winning the most seats was insufficient to justify that party forming a government.

Des Morgan, Caraway Drive, Swindon

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