No traffic lights - no jams?

VIDEO Today is the first day motorists can see the effect of having no traffic signals at St Michael's roundabout in Kesgrave during rush-hour traffic.The traffic lights were switched off yesterday at the end of the peak period as part of an eight-week trial to ease congestion.

TODAY is the first day motorists can see the effect of having no traffic signals at St Michael's roundabout in Kesgrave during rush-hour traffic.

The traffic lights were switched off yesterday at the end of the peak period as part of an eight-week trial to ease congestion. However today will be the real test as the lights have been a contentious issue for residents in the Grange Farm area who face long delays at rush hour periods as motorists head towards Main Road.

Suffolk County Council made the decision to switch off the lights in Ropes Drive West for a trial period while data about traffic flow is gathered.

It will be carrying out two surveys of queue lengths between 8am and 9am, the loops in the road and signal controller will record the number of vehicles approaching in each lane and the journey times of certain bus routes will be recorded. The council will also be looking at an elevated video survey of the junction.

Mark Youngman, traffic management engineer, said: “During this trial we will be gathering this data again for comparison.”

There are just two exits available for thousands of motorists to leave the Grange Farm development, which has led to lengthy tailbacks at peak times. In February last year the county council changed the timings on the lights to improve the flow of traffic.

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Although this appeared to help the situation slightly, residents still believed creating a third exit from the development, via Millennium Way, would eradicate any traffic build-up along Rope's Drive.

Kesgrave town councillor Martin Grimwood said he had noticed a change in the traffic already.

He said: “This all came about because when there have been power cuts in the past residents have noticed that the traffic movement was improved. It came from the residents and the town council took it up.”

Another town councillor, Sally Ogden, said it is too early to draw conclusions about the effects.

“It's very early days and I think it needs to be given a good week to see what difference it makes,” she said.

“The major problems have been getting off the estate in the mornings. Until we have had a few mornings it's difficult to know.”

Do you think turning off the traffic lights is the answer to the solution? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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