Crash crossroads IS a blackspot

TOWN centre crossroads that saw a potentially serious crash between a lorry and a bus should be a safety priority for transport chiefs, according to worried motorists.

TOWN centre crossroads that saw a potentially serious crash between a lorry and a bus should be a safety priority for transport chiefs, according to worried motorists.

An Ipswich man who has himself experienced two near misses at the busy junction of Princes Street and Grafton Way on the one-way system which surrounds the fire station and sorting office.

Paul Giles, 42, of Fitzwilliam Close, Ipswich, says he disagrees with the transport bosses' verdict that the junction was perfectly safe.

It was two years ago when Mr Giles experienced first had the dangers of the said junction.

Obeying the rules of the traffic lights like any motorist, he pulled up at the traffic lights on Princes Street and was waited in the filter lane ready to turn left into Grafton Way.

"As the lights turned green I automatically went to pull away thinking it was safe.

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"But a bus which was travelling in the bus lane from the direction of the railway station down Princes, turned right and into my path.

"I had to slam on my brakes something terrible," said Mr Giles.

Because Mr Giles thought the bus driver had jumped the lights he chased after him. However, it turned out that neither party was at fault.

Mr Giles was so incensed that the traffic light system had been deliberately set-up in way that causes real confusion and hazard, he went back to watch.

"My fears were confirmed. Both sets of lights went green at the same time – it was ridiculous. That junction is an accident waiting to happen. In fact it is an accident black-spot," said Mr Giles.

In fact Mr Giles had another near miss just two week ago, but this time he was waiting to turn left at the lights by Kartouche, when again a bus was travelling from town along Princes Street and turned right and into his path.

The 42-year-old says he can't believe that the authorities are shutting their eyes to the problem and refusing to do anything about the light set-up.

He said: "People trust traffic lights. When they turn green people think it is safe to go. But at that junction, you can't be sure of anything.

"There are so many near misses as well as accident there, it is frightening.

"It's about time they were corrected, they've been like that for more than two years and it is not good enough."

Another motorist, who declined to be named, said that he had also experienced the dangers of the junction, witnessing a minor prang with a bus which, but for a few seconds, could have been much worse.

"The whole area has changed since the junction's inception," he said. "There is more traffic, more goods traffic and there are more and more people going to visit the restaurants and cinema in Cardinal Park so this junction must be looked at."

Ipswich council transportation manager, Stephen Auld, told the Evening Star on Friday that the junction had not been classified as an accident blackspot because there had only been five accidents in the last three years, "all of the were really just shunts."

* What do you think? Have you experienced problems at this junction?

If so then write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN. Or email: EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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