Hunters Lodge traffic lights ruled out

PUBLISHED: 13:55 16 December 2014 | UPDATED: 13:55 16 December 2014

Crash scene at Hunters Lodge which claimed the lives of two elderly women

Crash scene at Hunters Lodge which claimed the lives of two elderly women

Archant

Highways chiefs say the plan would lead to long queues and increase the risk of tail-end shunts

Highways chiefs have again ruled out installing traffic lights at the notorious Hunter’s Lodge accident blackspot, near Axminster.

Traffic experts previously dismissed the £600,000 plan as unworkable, leading to long queues along the A35 with the risk of high-speed tail-end shunts. But after pressure at a packed public meeting in July they agreed to reconsider.

Last week mayor Jeremy Walden reported that, having looked again at the option, their view remained the same.

He said: “Further traffic surveys were taken during the peak summer months and modelled against what could be delivered. It is to be regretted that they cannot recommend a traffic light controlled junction.”

He said the reasons put forward were:

● For such a junction to be appropriate, there needs to be two lanes of traffic in either direction. They do not have sufficient land in their possession to make this possible and compulsory purchase of part or all of the Hunters Lodge Inn was not seen as feasible or desirable.

● Even with two lanes of traffic the backlog of traffic would likely be up to a quarter of a mile in peak season. This would mean that vehicles travelling on the A35 might have to wait for two or three sequences to get through the junction. Experience has shown that this causes more accident risk, with rear end shunts and people jumping the lights.

● The sequence time is excessively long as the junction is split with Crewkerne Road not being exactly opposite Lyme Road. This, along with allowing part of the sequence for right hand turns out of both Crewkerne Road and Lyme Road would be excessively frustrating for all drivers. Cllr Walden said a roundabout was also ruled out by the agency as there was not enough land available and mini roundabouts were not suitable for a trunk road.

As a result the Highways Agency proposals for safety improvements remained very much as before – with vehicle activated signs, an extra refuge, better road markings and an extension of the 40mph limit.

A decision on any scheme is expected in the spring.


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