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Seeing red over new road layout

Reporter: Richard Hooton
Date online: 08 January 2014

A LEADING motoring organisation is urging transport chiefs to reconsider the road layout at one of the town centre’s gateway junctions, ahead of the impending arrival of Metrolink.

Manchester Street roundabout has been redesigned to include a cross-island through-route to the bypass from Manchester Road. Trams are set to rumble across as they pass from Westwood to King Street from January 27

But the West Pennine Group of Advanced Motorists believes drivers are already confused by the road layout. A mini-island housing traffic lights on the town-centre side prompts late lane switches and thee has aleady been a series of near misses.

Traffic coming off the eastbound Oldham Way from Featherstall Road for King Street and Ashton Road is particularly vulnerable. Our photographer travelled in a car arriving from that direction and on several occasions witnessed cars switching lanes at the last moment or cutting across traffic to get into the right lane.

Other traffic heading out of the town centre from Manchester Street often found itself stranded across the lanes as the lights fails to allow through enough traffic.

West Pennine Group chairman Noel Davies said: “From Featherstall Road you are first faced with a give-way line but no give-way sign. A give-way sign would be a great aid to the safety of drivers.

“Also at this point, if you are looking straight ahead it is possible to see a green traffic light, which also adds to the confusion.”

Mr Davies said there are two lanes to choose for the A62. If you choose the right-hand lane it can be confusing which lane to choose to exit the roundabout.

“I have seen vehicles taking sudden avoiding action because of the uncertainty of which lane to take,” he added.

At busy times, many road markings are obscured by other vehicles. Overhead gantry signs, often used in busy towns to guide traffic, in this case only add to the uncertainty.

Once Metrolink trams start to use the track, there could be regular traffic chaos.


No comment required. This is literally a car crash waiting to happen. Which faceless name thought it was a good idea to insert a tram track diagonally through a busy roundabout. Were they also involved in the Mumps bridge / junction debacle. I would bet that they don't have to ride their push bike through either.

It doesn't matter how many experts tell them the road layout is poor, it isn't going to make any difference, because it's just so easy for them to blame drivers for getting confused, and then to claim on their insurance for any damage caused.
Until claims against public bodies are successful then nothing will change.

I use it daily and often see confused drivers swapping lanes last minute, or cutting over chevrons to get up towards King Street/ Ashton Road. The two lanes marked A62 become a chicane and the same happens if you carry on round to Manchester Rd, as a filter lane has been created for traffic joining it from Ashton Road which doesn't have to give way to traffic already on the roundabout. Trying to turn up Lee Street is sometimes not possible as you find traffic whizzing up your inside. Rethink !

before this junction was redesigned it was one of the most notorious accident blackspots in oldham and the greater manchester area.

now this new layout has made it even more of a hazard.

there are too many lanes on the junction and too many options with some being misleading as to where they go.

accidents are already occuring on there and that was before the tram crash the other week.

They will not change the layout now..
I am a female driver aged 44 and I travel along that way at least four times a day and i do not get confused.
If drivers used common sense and used the traffic signs they would be ok...

people are in too much of a rush to slow down and watch what they are doing and where they are going...

Everyone knows it's wrong and badly designed and confusing, even for locals, but the "planners" say we just need to get used to it. Rubbish !

this roundabout is the worst designed roundabout I have ever had the displeasure to navigate.

We complained months ago about this and was told that "drivers will have to get used to it" !!!!! My son got the same responce too when he complained and was also told to "carry on round the roundabout to try again

I used this roundabout for the first time last summer approaching it from the by pass from Featherstall Road and almost had a major crash. There is no give way sign, just as the WPG-IAM chairman says, and as I approached the roundabout, the traffic lights ahead of me were on green, I carried on and had to stand on my brakes as a car approached from my right. I didn't know who was at fault, but after using it again, I knew that I was. It's a disaster waiting to happen.

I used this roundabout last week the first time I've been this way for a while I was heading for Middleton road, I will not be going this way again next time I'll go through Royton and come out at mills hill, my son was in the car with me and could not believe or for that matter work out just where we should have been it is a nightmare I wonder how many people will be hurt or killed before this is changed, I hope whoever drew this one can sleep at night.

Coming off the bypass from the Royton end to navigate down Manchester road there are two lanes at the lights to turn right, drivers in the RH lane select the left lane leaving those in the RH lane pushed into the traffic island. This has happened to me twice in two weeks. The layout is dangerous but also the number of drivers who generally cannot navigate roundabouts is shocking. If "heandshe" is not confused she cannot be reading the layout correctly. I will be avoiding it (and her) in future.

Well heandshe I think the fact you travel over it 4 times a day gives you a pretty good experience and you get used to it. Don't forget the poor souls who come across this for the first time and imagine the confusion they might have.
Brierley if you think this bad take a look at 'the magic roundabout' in Swindon. Plenty of photos on line of this horror!

Brierley says this is the worst roundabout he's ever had the displeasure to navigate. I haven't tried this one yet (I'm due to negotiate it next week) but it'll have some way to go to beat the King Street roundabout surely?

The trouble is for every 10 logical comments there is always the odd one from "heandshe" 44 year old female (I don't know the relevance of this fact) which undermines the case. Perhaps she knows the elbow padded designer. I wish you well whilst ambling through the junction (at night, in the rain, with people new to the junction). Regards.

I avoid this junction when I can as with most people its confusing and I have been using this route for years. Even though you `think` you are in the correct lane there are others who `think` the same but end up switching lanes and having a near miss incident - it requires a re-think otherwise a serious accident will occur

Another ridiculous layout can then be observed at the Featherstall Road (Tesco) roundabout when on approach from Rochdale Road. Motorists are forced to give way whilst on the roundabout in order to prevent colliding, as the line markings have changed and are incorrectly laid. Some OMBC employee/contractor no doubt has been paid a fortune to come up with the new layout of these two roundabouts!

@Archie: The King St. roundabout is fairly straightforward compare to Manchester St. The issue with King St is the idiots who tend to stay in the left-hand lane to travel all the way around from Ashton Road to Park Road, cutting up people wanting to go up King St and head onto the by-pass.


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