New road layout "accident waiting to happen" as drivers make 17 complaints to Suffolk Highways
PUBLISHED: 08:19 21 February 2019 | UPDATED: 08:53 25 February 2019
Drivers are narrowly avoiding collisions in Ipswich after a road layout change that is catching some motorists by surprise.
Since December 2018, drivers wishing to use Grimwade Street should get in lane before using the crossroads, ready for the road to split into two one-way routes at Fore Street.
However some feel that the road layout and signage change has not been clear enough and is causing havoc – with many drivers experiencing near-misses on the roads as cars unexpectedly try to pull into a previously inaccessible lane.
Motorist Paul Carter said: “I think that this is a stupid move by the council. Making it into two lanes that go straight is dangerous.
“The lanes do not match up on the other side of the road, people still think that the left-hand lane has a filter light on, so it’s for turning left only
“This needs to be sorted as soon as possible – it’s a accident waiting to happen.“
However, another member of the public, Brian Ely, felt that the problem was not the fault of the layout change.
“It’s not an accident waiting to happen, it’s an indication of how poor the drivers observation is,” he said.
A Suffolk Highways spokesman said: “Towards the end of 2018, the road markings at the junction with Argyle Street were adjusted, following discussions with the local MP.
“To detail the new road layout, temporary signs were put in place following the works. These were replaced with two permanent signs on February 21. Over the next couple of weeks, additional road markings will be installed along with renewing the existing.
“We appreciate the concerns raised, however, the decision was made as the left hand lane was often under used and to improve the flow of traffic throughout the junction.
“It has since been decided to keep the new road layout, we will continue to monitor the area and feedback received.”
The previous road layout in Argyle Street meant that the left-hand lane only allowed motorists to turn left and the right-hand lane took drivers ahead to two lanes on Grimwade Street or to turn right.
This was causing traffic to queue out of Argyle Street and back into Woodbridge Road, causing undue delays for drivers heading for St Helen’s Street.
There have been 17 reports made on the Suffolk Highways website since the change in December 2018, pointing out that confusion reigns when drivers try to use the junction.
Many of the reports ask from new signs to be permanently installed for clearer directions.
But others also warn of fraying tempers, flashing and beeping as some drivers stuck in traffic are becoming aggressive, believing the left-hand lane is still left-only.
A temporary traffic sign has been placed to direct road users to the change in recent days, however a left-turn-only traffic light is still being used, leaving some drivers stuck behind cars going straight ahead.