'Dangerous' traffic light chaos 'affecting Wellington trade'

The lights in Wellington town centre.

The lights in Wellington town centre.

First published in News by

FRUSTRATED drivers fed up of waiting are jumping red lights in Wellington and putting lives at risk, it was claimed this week.

The lights at the crossroads with Waitrose and Longforth Road coupled with those in the centre of town are often on opposite sequences, leaving motorists stuck in gridlock, particularly at peak times.

Ian Stock, chairman of the Wellington Business Association, received several reports from traders about cars illegally going through them on red to avoid waiting and the issue was discussed by the town council on Monday (February 3).

He said: “The main concern is safety. At very busy times drivers are jumping the lights.

“They feel there will potentially be accidents with pedestrians and are also worried about a lack of trade.

“Customers have apparently said to retailers they are not shopping in Wellington as traffic is horrendous, which is also thought to make delivery of supplies difficult.”

Cllr Bob Bowrah said: “People are jumping the town centre lights. I've seen them and they are getting frustrated.

“We need something like a 'no go box' because the sequence is causing all sorts of problems.”

Lights have been a problem for some time, especially with the increased number of cars heading in and out of Waitrose since it opened in 2010.

The lights at Longforth are synchronised four ways which leads to a build up of traffic in the centre of town, particularly when the lights in South Street and North Street allow cars to pass through to High street.

It is hoped congestion will ease when the Longforth Farm development spine road is in operation but Cllr James Hunt echoed Taunton Deane MP Jeremy Browne's claims that the town needs a proper Northern Relief Road.

Cllr Peter Critchard suggested allowing less traffic out of Waitrose as this seems to be the quietest of the four exits, making more time for cars coming from other directions.

What do you think should be done? Have your say by commenting below.

Comments (3)

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4:16pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Slow down! says...

Turn the lights off dig them up and put a mini roundabout in its place.
Turn the lights off dig them up and put a mini roundabout in its place. Slow down!
  • Score: 2

8:11pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Hljomalind says...

Whoever designed the traffic lights at the top of Longforth road was clearly either incompetent or intent on causing chaos. First they removed the right hand turn lane and then designed a cycle that frequently only lets 3 cars through at a time, meaning that it can take longer to get through just one set of lights than to do the rest of a journey in to Taunton. Clearly they are also a Waitrose shopper as the cycle is more generous for patrons of this one shop than for the large chunk of north Wellington that uses Longforth Road! The lights in the town centre are just plain dangerous, especially since some Einstein decided that the right-hand filter into North Street was surplus to requirements forcing any one turning right into North Street to play Russian roulette trying to cross the straight over lane – I’ve nearly been t-boned there on more occasion by cars accelerating to get through the lights before they go red and not paying attention to cars turning right until they are through the lights. People have been complaining about these idiotic lights since they were installed yet NOTHING ever gets done, just the same old excuses and officials moaning about drivers – shock horror – wanting to get places on a less than geological timescale. Yes, drivers need to both pay more attention and take fewer risks, but when a fit for purpose road layout is replaced by one is at best incompetently designed and at worst just plain dangerous is it any wonder that there are so many near misses? You don’t need a qualification is road planning to know that these two junctions are FUBAR, just a little bit of common sense……..
Whoever designed the traffic lights at the top of Longforth road was clearly either incompetent or intent on causing chaos. First they removed the right hand turn lane and then designed a cycle that frequently only lets 3 cars through at a time, meaning that it can take longer to get through just one set of lights than to do the rest of a journey in to Taunton. Clearly they are also a Waitrose shopper as the cycle is more generous for patrons of this one shop than for the large chunk of north Wellington that uses Longforth Road! The lights in the town centre are just plain dangerous, especially since some Einstein decided that the right-hand filter into North Street was surplus to requirements forcing any one turning right into North Street to play Russian roulette trying to cross the straight over lane – I’ve nearly been t-boned there on more occasion by cars accelerating to get through the lights before they go red and not paying attention to cars turning right until they are through the lights. People have been complaining about these idiotic lights since they were installed yet NOTHING ever gets done, just the same old excuses and officials moaning about drivers – shock horror – wanting to get places on a less than geological timescale. Yes, drivers need to both pay more attention and take fewer risks, but when a fit for purpose road layout is replaced by one is at best incompetently designed and at worst just plain dangerous is it any wonder that there are so many near misses? You don’t need a qualification is road planning to know that these two junctions are FUBAR, just a little bit of common sense…….. Hljomalind
  • Score: 2

7:19pm Tue 11 Feb 14

ianc235 says...

Living in Longforth Road I consider the lights are only part of the problem.
The most dangerous part is the Lorries and cars driving along the pavement on the left hand side from the lights, the cause for this is clear, the cars parked on the right hand side (most of them are workers and shoppers in the town not the residents who park there to save paying the car parking) lorries coming up Longforth Road toward the lights have to stand over the center line because of the cars on the left, causing the vehicles from the other direction to mount the pavement. even when children and elderly pedestrians are walking with their backs to the traffic.
The other factor to the traffic queuing at the lights, is Asda and the Shell Garage customers trying to get out into the flow with little chance when only three vehicles are aloud through the lights and others waiting up to seven minutes to get to the lights. NO WONDER THEY ARE FRUSTRATED!!! I also have cars turning around in my driveway to get out of the queue Not Happy!!!
Living in Longforth Road I consider the lights are only part of the problem. The most dangerous part is the Lorries and cars driving along the pavement on the left hand side from the lights, the cause for this is clear, the cars parked on the right hand side (most of them are workers and shoppers in the town not the residents who park there to save paying the car parking) lorries coming up Longforth Road toward the lights have to stand over the center line because of the cars on the left, causing the vehicles from the other direction to mount the pavement. even when children and elderly pedestrians are walking with their backs to the traffic. The other factor to the traffic queuing at the lights, is Asda and the Shell Garage customers trying to get out into the flow with little chance when only three vehicles are aloud through the lights and others waiting up to seven minutes to get to the lights. NO WONDER THEY ARE FRUSTRATED!!! I also have cars turning around in my driveway to get out of the queue Not Happy!!! ianc235
  • Score: 3

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