An accident waiting to happen

Date published: 10 January 2014

CHRONICLE readers have overwhelmingly backed calls from a leading motoring organisation for transport chiefs to reconsider the road layout at one of the town centre’s gateway junctions ahead of the arrival of Metrolink.

On Wednesday the Chronicle highlighted concerns about the Manchester Street roundabout under the Oldham Way bypass, which has been redesigned to include a cross-island through-route to the bypass from Manchester Road.

It will see trams rumble through as the line rises from Westwood to King Street and on to Union Street from January 27.

The West Pennine Group of Advanced Motorists (WPG-IAM) believes drivers are already confused by the road layout with a mini-island housing traffic lights on the town-centre side prompting lane-switches and a series of near misses.

Traffic coming off the eastbound Oldham Way from Featherstall Road and attempting to get up to the King Street island and Ashton Road is seen as particularly vulnerable. Other traffic flowing from Manchester Street heading out of the town centre often finds itself stranded across the lanes as traffic lights fail to let enough vehicles through. The addition of regular tram movements could see even more traffic chaos.

We asked for your views in the hope that transport chiefs might listen, and were inundated

Here’s what some of you think:

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 Road 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 needed!


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 bet they don’t have to ride their push bike through either.


WE complained months ago about this and were told that “drivers will have to get used to it.” My son got the same response when he complained and was also told to “carry on round the roundabout to try again.”


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! The whole road layout there is a mess and confusing for drivers without the added hazard of a tram or two!


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


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.


I USED this roundabout last week the first time 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.


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 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.


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


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.


THIS is why it is essential to retain the direct route through the Werneth tunnels and the existing Mumps station. It would be ridiculously short-sighted and foolish to shut an existing diversionary route that has no obvious future use should it close. It should also be obvious that it is essential that some peak-hour trams should run as an express service for commuters from Milnrow, Newhey, Shaw and Derker to and from Manchester without trundling through Oldham town centre and Westwood.


YOU can tell just by looking at it that it’s an accident blackspot. It’s especially confusing when driving from Manchester Road to get on the bypass towards Huddersfield Road. The lanes sort of switch just before you get on the bypass so it’s easy to find yourself in the wrong lane.


THIS is a good enough reason to keep open the original line which cuts out the town centre to the old Mumps station. Imagine the problems and delays that could happen to the service to Rochdale if a tram crash happens in the future. Never say never!


WHOEVER planned this road layout should be sacked. No-one I know knows how to negotiate this layout. It is Oldham’s Spaghetti Junction. I pass through every day and everyone just looks so confused!