Crossroads of confusion - Drivers fear accidents at new layout in Bridgwater

Crossroads of confusion - Drivers fear accidents at new layout in Bridgwater

Crossroads of confusion - Drivers fear accidents at new layout in Bridgwater

First published in News by

MOTORISTS fear “confusing” changes to the layout of a busy Bridgwater town centre road junction could lead to an accident.

Drivers heading along Penel Orlieu towards the Broadway/North Street junction and planning to cross over the road into West Street must now move into the right hand lane at Penel Orlieu.

However, the Mercury has heard many reports that drivers are still getting in the left hand lane from habit and then trying to move across – which has led to several near misses.

Sedgemoor district councillor Brian Smedley said he has passed on concerns from motorists to Harvey Siggs, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways.

He added: “There are people who are unhappy about these changes as the issue is some people are working to the old system when you should have been in the left lane to go to West Street from Penel Orlieu while other drivers are observing the new rules.

“It is confusing for some people and it is taking a while to get used to.”

The county council says the new layout has been designed to increase capacity at the junction to help prevent tailbacks.

One reader who got in touch with the Mercury said they had observed the junction and counted 11 near misses in the space of 20 minutes.

Although new white road markings have been painted so people use the correct lane for turning, drivers are saying these are often not seen by queuing traffic.

Reader Joanne White contacted the Mercury via Facebook to highlight the issue, prompting several other readers to share their concerns.

Cheryl Sampson wrote: “Yesterday I was in the right hand lane to go across into West Street and not only one but two cars were heading towards West Street still using the left hand lane – almost had my car ploughed into but luckily I was aware of the problems so was on my guard.”

A spokesman for Somerset County Council said: “As part of a recent redesign of this junction, we considered a number of options regarding the layout and lane arrangements.

“This option was chosen as it gave significant capacity benefits which should help improve traffic flow, particularly during peak times.”

Comments (22)

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5:02pm Wed 27 Aug 14

grisleyreg says...

Causes more tail backs in High Street and Mount Street than ever before,
For a pedestrian it's under pant changing attempting to cross Broadway,
The whole exercise looks to be an unnecessary use of public funds .
Causes more tail backs in High Street and Mount Street than ever before, For a pedestrian it's under pant changing attempting to cross Broadway, The whole exercise looks to be an unnecessary use of public funds . grisleyreg
  • Score: 12

6:08pm Wed 27 Aug 14

bygeorge says...

There is also another problem not mentioned, and that is the three lanes coming up from B&Q, The lane that was dedicated to turn into West Street, now also carries straight on, so you now have two lanes heading towards Minehead all merging into one !, and that is going to cause accidents and irate drivers when no one will give way to the other !. What a stupid and dangerous idea !!.
There is also another problem not mentioned, and that is the three lanes coming up from B&Q, The lane that was dedicated to turn into West Street, now also carries straight on, so you now have two lanes heading towards Minehead all merging into one !, and that is going to cause accidents and irate drivers when no one will give way to the other !. What a stupid and dangerous idea !!. bygeorge
  • Score: 21

8:04pm Wed 27 Aug 14

JoRo says...

Whichever way you look at it the whole scheme is totally illogical.
Traffic moving from right to left when travelling towards West Street
Two lanes into one Broadway to North Street, none of it makes sense.
I don’t think any of this will improve traffic flow but probably looks good on their models and on paper.
However bearing in mind that scheme will have to been approved by County Highways please don’t expect to get your comments listened too.
They are the experts and always know best.
Whichever way you look at it the whole scheme is totally illogical. Traffic moving from right to left when travelling towards West Street Two lanes into one Broadway to North Street, none of it makes sense. I don’t think any of this will improve traffic flow but probably looks good on their models and on paper. However bearing in mind that scheme will have to been approved by County Highways please don’t expect to get your comments listened too. They are the experts and always know best. JoRo
  • Score: 12

8:21pm Wed 27 Aug 14

the voice of common sense says...

It looks like when it is all finished the left hand lane going past the Palace is to have a filter light so that there isn't so much congestion because it will allow more vehicles through the lights than before.

With reference to the near misses so far, it proves that most people don't look at signage when driving.

The two inside lanes going straight across from Broadway into North street is a different kettle of fish altogether, there would seem to be no rational explanation unless the junction is being sponsored by the nearby bodyshop touting for business
It looks like when it is all finished the left hand lane going past the Palace is to have a filter light so that there isn't so much congestion because it will allow more vehicles through the lights than before. With reference to the near misses so far, it proves that most people don't look at signage when driving. The two inside lanes going straight across from Broadway into North street is a different kettle of fish altogether, there would seem to be no rational explanation unless the junction is being sponsored by the nearby bodyshop touting for business the voice of common sense
  • Score: 5

8:53pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Boring says...

Get rid of the traffic lights at the major junctions in this town,replace them with roundabouts.
It really is that simple.
The traffic flows,we as drivers are all capable of giving way to traffic on the right.
Roundabouts work, when will the planners wake up.
Get rid of the traffic lights at the major junctions in this town,replace them with roundabouts. It really is that simple. The traffic flows,we as drivers are all capable of giving way to traffic on the right. Roundabouts work, when will the planners wake up. Boring
  • Score: 12

9:57pm Wed 27 Aug 14

the voice of common sense says...

Boring wrote:
Get rid of the traffic lights at the major junctions in this town,replace them with roundabouts.
It really is that simple.
The traffic flows,we as drivers are all capable of giving way to traffic on the right.
Roundabouts work, when will the planners wake up.
I couldn't agree more, case in point, Cranleigh Gardens/ St John Street junction, no lights, no queues QED
[quote][p][bold]Boring[/bold] wrote: Get rid of the traffic lights at the major junctions in this town,replace them with roundabouts. It really is that simple. The traffic flows,we as drivers are all capable of giving way to traffic on the right. Roundabouts work, when will the planners wake up.[/p][/quote]I couldn't agree more, case in point, Cranleigh Gardens/ St John Street junction, no lights, no queues QED the voice of common sense
  • Score: 7

7:23am Thu 28 Aug 14

Koenigninners says...

Obviously all these new changes are being implemented SOLELY to benefit EDF who will be building a new power station at Hinkley point. Private profit is FAR more important to those in charge of these things than the lives of the rest of us who will have to deal with this carnage.
Obviously all these new changes are being implemented SOLELY to benefit EDF who will be building a new power station at Hinkley point. Private profit is FAR more important to those in charge of these things than the lives of the rest of us who will have to deal with this carnage. Koenigninners
  • Score: 9

9:05am Thu 28 Aug 14

awayswing says...

Boring wrote:
Get rid of the traffic lights at the major junctions in this town,replace them with roundabouts.
It really is that simple.
The traffic flows,we as drivers are all capable of giving way to traffic on the right.
Roundabouts work, when will the planners wake up.
A roundabout was put in where Broadway and Taunton Road meet,this was about 30 years ago.It was so dangerous that my father started a petition to have the traffic lights put back.In the end a bus hit a dustcart on the roundabout and it was done away with.Traffic can give way to traffic on the right but if there is no break in the traffic you can wait a very long time before proceeding on to the roundabout.
[quote][p][bold]Boring[/bold] wrote: Get rid of the traffic lights at the major junctions in this town,replace them with roundabouts. It really is that simple. The traffic flows,we as drivers are all capable of giving way to traffic on the right. Roundabouts work, when will the planners wake up.[/p][/quote]A roundabout was put in where Broadway and Taunton Road meet,this was about 30 years ago.It was so dangerous that my father started a petition to have the traffic lights put back.In the end a bus hit a dustcart on the roundabout and it was done away with.Traffic can give way to traffic on the right but if there is no break in the traffic you can wait a very long time before proceeding on to the roundabout. awayswing
  • Score: 0

12:37pm Thu 28 Aug 14

twinkles says...

'Motorists fear confusing changes'? Codswallop. More like 'some drivers don't actually think about what they're doing when they're in charge of a car'.

There are frankly too many signs, messages, orders, directives, rules and regulations concerning every possible aspect of driving a car these days. All the decision making is taken away. Yet, the Murky would have you believe the masses are clamouring for more guidance!

This country spoon feeds people in so many ways that should be obvious. People use the phrase 'common sense' but it's often misused. 'Good sense' would be more appropriate.

If you constantly tell people what to do, they end up not being able to think for themselves. Or, much worse - they consider a lack of instruction a basis for mitigation when the opportunity presents itself to make a quick buck off of the back of a prang. 'There wuz no signs, I crashed and now me back's bad, innit? Gimme compo', et cetera.

That said, the revised layout of the junction does appear to have been penned by a Chimpanzee with some crayons.
'Motorists fear confusing changes'? Codswallop. More like 'some drivers don't actually think about what they're doing when they're in charge of a car'. There are frankly too many signs, messages, orders, directives, rules and regulations concerning every possible aspect of driving a car these days. All the decision making is taken away. Yet, the Murky would have you believe the masses are clamouring for more guidance! This country spoon feeds people in so many ways that should be obvious. People use the phrase 'common sense' but it's often misused. 'Good sense' would be more appropriate. If you constantly tell people what to do, they end up not being able to think for themselves. Or, much worse - they consider a lack of instruction a basis for mitigation when the opportunity presents itself to make a quick buck off of the back of a prang. 'There wuz no signs, I crashed and now me back's bad, innit? Gimme compo', et cetera. That said, the revised layout of the junction does appear to have been penned by a Chimpanzee with some crayons. twinkles
  • Score: 5

2:17pm Thu 28 Aug 14

LookingForLiars says...

Mercury, it's taken you TWO weeks to put this story out.
Facebook was talking about this Two weeks ago.
Conclusions !
Mercury, it's taken you TWO weeks to put this story out. Facebook was talking about this Two weeks ago. Conclusions ! LookingForLiars
  • Score: 7

4:51pm Thu 28 Aug 14

ronaldrh says...

I sent emails to Harvey Siggs SCC 18 days ago regarding the approach from Morrisons and the exit of Penel Orlieu into Broadway, so far I have only received an email of confirmed receipt from his PA.
Since then I too have seen some narrow misses including one on Broadway into North Street when two cars nearly collided at the entrance to North Street. It can be said that neither was in the wrong according to the road markings.
I sent emails to Harvey Siggs SCC 18 days ago regarding the approach from Morrisons and the exit of Penel Orlieu into Broadway, so far I have only received an email of confirmed receipt from his PA. Since then I too have seen some narrow misses including one on Broadway into North Street when two cars nearly collided at the entrance to North Street. It can be said that neither was in the wrong according to the road markings. ronaldrh
  • Score: 2

5:10pm Thu 28 Aug 14

Alex@SDA says...

LookingForLiars wrote:
Mercury, it's taken you TWO weeks to put this story out.
Facebook was talking about this Two weeks ago.
Conclusions !
Which is why we no longer take the Mercury, and why I don't look on here as much as I used to. Plus we have to wait whilst the page loads & re-loads due to adding all the adverts.

I mentioned this road marking issue on another posting on this site when it broke on Facebook, and yet the Murkey still failed to jump on it. Just proves they themselves don't even read their own web-site.

Alex
[quote][p][bold]LookingForLiars[/bold] wrote: Mercury, it's taken you TWO weeks to put this story out. Facebook was talking about this Two weeks ago. Conclusions ![/p][/quote]Which is why we no longer take the Mercury, and why I don't look on here as much as I used to. Plus we have to wait whilst the page loads & re-loads due to adding all the adverts. I mentioned this road marking issue on another posting on this site when it broke on Facebook, and yet the Murkey still failed to jump on it. Just proves they themselves don't even read their own web-site. Alex Alex@SDA
  • Score: 3

2:05pm Fri 29 Aug 14

the voice of common sense says...

awayswing wrote:
Boring wrote:
Get rid of the traffic lights at the major junctions in this town,replace them with roundabouts.
It really is that simple.
The traffic flows,we as drivers are all capable of giving way to traffic on the right.
Roundabouts work, when will the planners wake up.
A roundabout was put in where Broadway and Taunton Road meet,this was about 30 years ago.It was so dangerous that my father started a petition to have the traffic lights put back.In the end a bus hit a dustcart on the roundabout and it was done away with.Traffic can give way to traffic on the right but if there is no break in the traffic you can wait a very long time before proceeding on to the roundabout.
Awayswing, what planet are you on? The roundabout was removed because Safeway as it was had to offer something as a "planning enhancement" to get permission to build their store there.

When it was a roundabout there used to be the occasional coming together that involved a bit of broken plastic and a bit of hurt pride. Now it is a full on impact, road closed and all emergency services called out.

BRING BACK THE ROUNDABOUT
[quote][p][bold]awayswing[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Boring[/bold] wrote: Get rid of the traffic lights at the major junctions in this town,replace them with roundabouts. It really is that simple. The traffic flows,we as drivers are all capable of giving way to traffic on the right. Roundabouts work, when will the planners wake up.[/p][/quote]A roundabout was put in where Broadway and Taunton Road meet,this was about 30 years ago.It was so dangerous that my father started a petition to have the traffic lights put back.In the end a bus hit a dustcart on the roundabout and it was done away with.Traffic can give way to traffic on the right but if there is no break in the traffic you can wait a very long time before proceeding on to the roundabout.[/p][/quote]Awayswing, what planet are you on? The roundabout was removed because Safeway as it was had to offer something as a "planning enhancement" to get permission to build their store there. When it was a roundabout there used to be the occasional coming together that involved a bit of broken plastic and a bit of hurt pride. Now it is a full on impact, road closed and all emergency services called out. BRING BACK THE ROUNDABOUT the voice of common sense
  • Score: 3

2:43pm Fri 29 Aug 14

awayswing says...

the voice of common sense wrote:
awayswing wrote:
Boring wrote:
Get rid of the traffic lights at the major junctions in this town,replace them with roundabouts.
It really is that simple.
The traffic flows,we as drivers are all capable of giving way to traffic on the right.
Roundabouts work, when will the planners wake up.
A roundabout was put in where Broadway and Taunton Road meet,this was about 30 years ago.It was so dangerous that my father started a petition to have the traffic lights put back.In the end a bus hit a dustcart on the roundabout and it was done away with.Traffic can give way to traffic on the right but if there is no break in the traffic you can wait a very long time before proceeding on to the roundabout.
Awayswing, what planet are you on? The roundabout was removed because Safeway as it was had to offer something as a "planning enhancement" to get permission to build their store there.

When it was a roundabout there used to be the occasional coming together that involved a bit of broken plastic and a bit of hurt pride. Now it is a full on impact, road closed and all emergency services called out.

BRING BACK THE ROUNDABOUT
The planet that I am on is the one that learned from the experience of having a roundabout there before.Do you know the name of people who make the same mistake twice?
[quote][p][bold]the voice of common sense[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]awayswing[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Boring[/bold] wrote: Get rid of the traffic lights at the major junctions in this town,replace them with roundabouts. It really is that simple. The traffic flows,we as drivers are all capable of giving way to traffic on the right. Roundabouts work, when will the planners wake up.[/p][/quote]A roundabout was put in where Broadway and Taunton Road meet,this was about 30 years ago.It was so dangerous that my father started a petition to have the traffic lights put back.In the end a bus hit a dustcart on the roundabout and it was done away with.Traffic can give way to traffic on the right but if there is no break in the traffic you can wait a very long time before proceeding on to the roundabout.[/p][/quote]Awayswing, what planet are you on? The roundabout was removed because Safeway as it was had to offer something as a "planning enhancement" to get permission to build their store there. When it was a roundabout there used to be the occasional coming together that involved a bit of broken plastic and a bit of hurt pride. Now it is a full on impact, road closed and all emergency services called out. BRING BACK THE ROUNDABOUT[/p][/quote]The planet that I am on is the one that learned from the experience of having a roundabout there before.Do you know the name of people who make the same mistake twice? awayswing
  • Score: -1

8:30pm Fri 29 Aug 14

CeliaMolestrangler says...

Also because most traffic at Penel Orlieu wants to turn left or go straight on up West Street I have now noticed the traffic queuing as far back as Angel Place entrance. If I want to turn right I have to wait longer as the right lane gets far more congested
Also because most traffic at Penel Orlieu wants to turn left or go straight on up West Street I have now noticed the traffic queuing as far back as Angel Place entrance. If I want to turn right I have to wait longer as the right lane gets far more congested CeliaMolestrangler
  • Score: 5

10:25pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Boring says...

Bridgwater's road network is farcical. Why hasn't anyone from SCC or SDC consulted us ( the people who use the roads on a daily basis) about these ridiculous changes?.
I'm sick of sitting at traffic lights,sick of other cars cutting in front of me when they use the "merge lane,sick of being unable to see what colour the lights are when trying to turn right at the Riders junction ( give us an arrow for turning right ffs!)
SDC bottled it and didn't stand up to EDF, we are all going to pay for this for years to come.
The Mercury bottled the "big campaign" they said they were going to run regarding the road we ALL want from Dunball to Cannington.
The campaign lasted all of two weeks,until SDC probably 'got at' them.
The local paper and the local council deserve each other, the rest of us it seems just don't count at all.
Bridgwater's road network is farcical. Why hasn't anyone from SCC or SDC consulted us ( the people who use the roads on a daily basis) about these ridiculous changes?. I'm sick of sitting at traffic lights,sick of other cars cutting in front of me when they use the "merge lane,sick of being unable to see what colour the lights are when trying to turn right at the Riders junction ( give us an arrow for turning right ffs!) SDC bottled it and didn't stand up to EDF, we are all going to pay for this for years to come. The Mercury bottled the "big campaign" they said they were going to run regarding the road we ALL want from Dunball to Cannington. The campaign lasted all of two weeks,until SDC probably 'got at' them. The local paper and the local council deserve each other, the rest of us it seems just don't count at all. Boring
  • Score: 10

11:52am Sat 30 Aug 14

bygeorge says...

I believe that Bridgwater is being, purposely, "stiched up" with these so called road improvements, It's that, or the people who are designing these "improvements", does'nt know what they are doing, despite whatever qualifications they hold !!, Surley Health and safety must come into this, I wonder, when there are accidents on these junction's, can we claim off of the designers, or Somerset County Council?.
I believe that Bridgwater is being, purposely, "stiched up" with these so called road improvements, It's that, or the people who are designing these "improvements", does'nt know what they are doing, despite whatever qualifications they hold !!, Surley Health and safety must come into this, I wonder, when there are accidents on these junction's, can we claim off of the designers, or Somerset County Council?. bygeorge
  • Score: 5

12:24pm Sat 30 Aug 14

Itsmeagen says...

The road infrastructure around Bridgwater has been neglected over the years and been allowed to fall way behind the growth of the area. This is without Hinkley Point traffic. Tesco store at Northgate will not do much to help the situation either. As for the junction improvements, you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear but it seems they may well make it worse. If the council want to attract people into Bridgwater to shop rather than Taunton, they need to make sure the town will not be in a semi-permanent state of gridlock during the daytime in the future.
The road infrastructure around Bridgwater has been neglected over the years and been allowed to fall way behind the growth of the area. This is without Hinkley Point traffic. Tesco store at Northgate will not do much to help the situation either. As for the junction improvements, you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear but it seems they may well make it worse. If the council want to attract people into Bridgwater to shop rather than Taunton, they need to make sure the town will not be in a semi-permanent state of gridlock during the daytime in the future. Itsmeagen
  • Score: 5

4:49pm Sat 30 Aug 14

Alex@SDA says...

Sat in the righthand queue by the Palace this morning, waiting to turn right into North St.

There were Five cars in the left hand lane, Three went straight-on up West St, Two turned left down towards Morrisons. that indicates a WHOPPING 60% FAILURE RATE.

There seems to be one sign only advising the new road layout, and that is fairly high on the right-hand side just after the roundabout from the High Street, and by then drivers have already selected their lane. If drivers are looking to the right and preparing to give way to emerging traffic, they simply won't see this solitary little sign.
Sat in the righthand queue by the Palace this morning, waiting to turn right into North St. There were Five cars in the left hand lane, Three went straight-on up West St, Two turned left down towards Morrisons. that indicates a WHOPPING 60% FAILURE RATE. There seems to be one sign only advising the new road layout, and that is fairly high on the right-hand side just after the roundabout from the High Street, and by then drivers have already selected their lane. If drivers are looking to the right and preparing to give way to emerging traffic, they simply won't see this solitary little sign. Alex@SDA
  • Score: 4

11:12am Fri 5 Sep 14

GettingrichfromHinkley says...

Hey, but as long as it does not affect Carnival, it is all good eh.
Hey, but as long as it does not affect Carnival, it is all good eh. GettingrichfromHinkley
  • Score: -1

2:10pm Sat 6 Sep 14

gbak22 says...

what a waste of time and money which the tax payer has to pay for. All they had to do is put a roundabout and zebra crossings in. I cant believe the time it is taking them. They are milking the job so the tax payer has to pay more money.
what a waste of time and money which the tax payer has to pay for. All they had to do is put a roundabout and zebra crossings in. I cant believe the time it is taking them. They are milking the job so the tax payer has to pay more money. gbak22
  • Score: 0

9:08pm Wed 17 Sep 14

the voice of common sense says...

Just replace all traffic lights with roundabouts and, hey presto, no more traffic jams in Bridgwater, simple isn't it?

Just a thought does anyone else think that someone at highways is receiving undue influence from a well known German electronics company to keep the traffic lights in town?
Just replace all traffic lights with roundabouts and, hey presto, no more traffic jams in Bridgwater, simple isn't it? Just a thought does anyone else think that someone at highways is receiving undue influence from a well known German electronics company to keep the traffic lights in town? the voice of common sense
  • Score: 0

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