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.
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