Thursday, 18 June 2009

A Roundabout is Needed

More than four years ago I was part of a team of people who conducted a survey of Broadway, Morecambe and surrounding roads. Broadway has a 40mph limit and we were getting complaints that some drivers were speeding. We got a lot of information simply by asking a few questions and there were many people who were asking for a roundabout on the Prom. We asked too. One person told us how, if he wants to drive north along the Prom he has to drive south and get on the prom at a mini-roundabout.

There was a general desire to lower the speed limit to 30mph. As with most things, there are pros and cons but one of the deciding factors for us was a police officer telling us that people were speeding on other roads in Morecambe and they were saying that they thought the limit was 40mph like the limit on Broadway. There are still drivers who race up and down Broadway even now, four years later. One resident heard that the County Council had forgotten about this matter but they were going to lower the limit.

What has happened is that we got a coat of paint on the road at the Broadway / Prom junction. The lines form an area bounded by a broken white line and filled with diagonal lines. It is there to protect cars turning into Broadway by creating a third lane. The Highway Code puts it like this 'Areas of white diagonal stripes or chevrons painted on the road. These are to separate traffic lanes or to protect traffic turning right' and this is what it does. However it should also stop cars turning right onto the Prom from Broadway. In practice cars ignore the Highway Code and cross these lines.

Here is the relevant quote from the Highway Code: 'If the area is bordered by a broken white line, you should not enter the area unless it is necessary and you can see that it is safe to do so'. It is a strange use of the word necessary. It is not necessary to turn right. You could turn left drive south and then drive north. It hasn't been made any easier to turn right and now you have to negotiate the Highway Code if you want to go north.

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