FREEDOM BRIDGE: Markings leave a lot to be desired, while crossing is too close

MY views on the roundabout are maybe open to correction as I haven t traversed the roundabout in a few weeks now, but if you are travelling towards Long Sutton on the A1101 the new lane markings weren t (and maybe still aren t) marked or shown on signs on

MY views on the roundabout are maybe open to correction as I haven't traversed the roundabout in a few weeks now, but if you are travelling towards Long Sutton on the A1101 the new lane markings weren't (and maybe still aren't) marked or shown on signs on the approach to the roundabout at all.

The left hand lane is the correct lane to continue along the A1101 according to the Highway Code, according to the new road markings you must use the right lane as the left directs traffic into the car park and along the river bank.

The road markings are not very visible in normal slow traffic, and not far enough in advance of the roundabout.

As a truck driver, you need room and time to manoeuvre, if you are new to the area and don't know the markings of the roundabout, you approach the left curve before the roundabout in the left lane, you have the curve creating blind spots on your vehicle, and then a crossing (which according to the highway code you shouldn't change lanes on) When and IF you see the road markings how and where are you supposed to change lanes?


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Is it any surprise some collision accidents happen when only 1/2 a job is done by highways dept chiefs.

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HGV drivers are generally a courteous group and do not block the paths of pedestrians at zebra crossings. The problem with this crossing is that is too close to the roundabout. For example HGV approaches zebra crossing, no pedestrians, HGV proceeds, gets held up at roundabout, trailer is then blocking zebra crossing. Nothing malicious intended.

Build a footbridge or an underpass; keep pedestrians away from traffic, problem solved.

D A BARDWICK

Spalding

WHILST reading the front cover I had to ask myself did the pedestrian wait for the traffic to stop before proceeding across the crossing, as Councillor Webb said?

Every holiday period I park in the Horsefair car park and walk across Churchill Road with my two children and our dog to Wisbech park.

I think the crossing is too close to the roundabout, it needs to be moved back to allow a lorry to wait at the roundabout for a gap without blocking the crossing.

I have seen lorries blocking the crossing numerous times, but I do appreciate the pedestrians may not have been there when they drive over it.

It needs moving back a few yards to make it safer.

JOANNE CASHMORE

Bridge Road

Sutton Bridge

HAVING studied last week's article on the Churchill Road roundabout and the accompanying letters I have the following to say.

Firstly, and without any doubt whatsoever in my mind, that this particular crossing is possibly sited in about the worst location it could be. When any vehicle is approaching any roundabout the first (and most important) thing that any driver should have is unimpeded access to that roundabout.

He (or she) does not need their attention to be distracted by a pedestrian crossing, and especially an uncontrolled one.

Secondly, though I am in possession of only a car driver's licence I do feel it totally unfair (as your article did) to single out HGV drivers. These vehicles generally have a slower take off speed and are certainly much longer that the family car, that you cannot reasonably expect them not to block this pedestrian crossing at some time. To stand clear of the pedestrian crossing and then to expect them to stop at the next stop line accessing the roundabout is totally unreasonable. To give an example they may well see no persons on (or even around the roundabout) as they approach but, in the meantime, some faster moving vehicle may well get on to the roundabout before they do. They are obliged to stop - and hence block the crossing. Inevitable really. None of us should be particularly surprised by this.

I am sure most would stop for a pedestrian on a crossing whom they had actually seen. If they should then block the crossing because of the sheer volume of traffic on the roundabout then it is hardly their fault. The fault is the crossing. The people who sit behind desks.

MR B L COLLIER

Money Bank

Wisbech

I READ with interest your report on last week's accident on Churchill Road, as well as the reader reaction on page 17.

I feel that a number of issues are being confused, both by those in authority and local people. I also feel that some of the comments made in the captions to the photographs on page 1 were unfair to those depicted.

Firstly, we must all agree that the zebra crossing is badly placed.

To simply drive the roundabout and take the A1101 exit onto Churchill Road is to realise that there is something very seriously wrong with the road layout.

Certainly the crossing is way too close to the roundabout.

However, it's poor siting is made all the worse for the location of the exit from the petrol station.

Drivers are forced to check that traffic hasn't appeared on their left as they make for the exit onto the A1101, while checking for traffic emerging from the petrol station and checking both pavements for pedestrians about to cross.

On more than one occasion I've had to brake hard for a car emerging from the petrol station.

There is simply too much happening for motorists to take in, especially if the weather is poor or it's dark. My suggestion would be to move the crossing and close the exit from the petrol station onto the roundabout it would still remain a hazard without the crossing in place.

Let's also consider the role of pedestrians in this problem, since not all drivers are careless or uncaring. Pedestrians are unlikely to realise that cars coming off the roundabout are being driven by drivers with far too many inputs to process.

A number of readers commented on the new roundabout markings which actually guide cars around the roundabout in exactly the right way.

PAUL E EDEN

Via email

I AM writing with regards to the problems with the roundabout at Churchill Road/Freedom Bridge.

This has been a problem for many years made even worse now by the new layout which is not marked on the road until you're nearly at the roundabout.

Whoever designed the new layout has no idea whatsoever, also the zebra crossing is too close to the roundabout.

Regarding your pictures in last weeks Wisbech Standard showing lorries blocking the roundabout, well what have the lorries got to do?

At the end of the day it must be said what a stupid place to put the crossing in the first place.

JAMES HENSBY

Via email

I AM writing in regard to your front page spread of the Standard, October 3.

From your photos, and the story to go alongside it, it reads as if you are blaming the lorry drivers for blocking the crossing.

May I point out one thing? How else are they meant to get onto the roundabout without blocking it? If they wait before it to not block the crossing they'll never join the roundabout because by the time the get to the roundabout another of the 1,000 cars that use it an hour in peak periods will be in the way.

But if they sit at the joining of the roundabout their accused of "ignoring pedestrians".

Maybe it should be considered that whoever decided to put the crossing there is to blame perhaps? It is possibly the worst place to put a zebra crossing.

SARAH MATTHEWS

Barton Road

Wisbech

THE problem is not the roundabout or its changed markings, although updating the advance signs to reflect the new markings is surely critical.

The problem is that other roundabouts with the same type of markings, which work, are not in close proximity to numerous pedestrians.

I actually take issue with the new lowered curbs at the Freedom Bridge roundabout as there is nothing compelling traffic to give way to pedestrians waiting to cross.

Keeping pedestrians away altogether could improve traffic flow substantially.

How about a subway system beneath the roundabout and Horsefair car park, with ramps behind the petrol station, behind the court/police station (Bedford Street), and directly to the Horsefair near the bus station, and additional stairway access to the southern bank opposite the BO building.

"Kiosks" could be included below the car park for fast food/retail outlets and give some feeling of safety, along with an open area below the roundabout itself.

There are similar setups below London's major city-centre junctions.

NORMAN

Via email

I'M appalled at your comment on the front of the Wisbech Standard calling the lorry driver thoughtless because his truck was over the pedestrian crossing.

Have you ever driven a HGV yourself? Maybe when the lorry driver pulled up to the roundabout nobody was standing at the pedestrian crossing! It's quite possible the lorry driver was waiting so long for a gap in the traffic the pedestrian walked up a few minutes later.

It takes a truck a lot longer to pull onto a roundabout due to it's weight! Also HGV drivers need a large gap in the traffic to be able to pull onto a roundabout due to its long trailer behind.

If anybody is being thoughtless it's the people that put the pedestrian crossing in such a stupid place.

ANDREW ROBERTS

Via email

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