Safety first as problem traffic lights to be fixed

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SAFETY at a set of misfiring town centre traffic lights is set to improve after repairs were promised.

Motorists and pedestrians using the traffic lights at the junction of High Street and Thetford Road in Brandon have faced delays or dangerous dashes to cross the street since a new intelligent signal system was recently installed.

The measures were introduced to reduce the heavy queuing at the junction and ‘rat-running’ through residential areas.

On Monday, Cllr Bill Bishop invited a Suffolk County Council highways officer to look at the lights’ operation after a number of residents raised concerns.

After witnessing several near misses, the officer agreed to make the necessary changes.

Cllr Bishop said: “I want to see those lights back how they were or modified so that when there’s a lot of traffic there, people don’t have to wait.

“If someone had been hurt there because of the way they are operating, it would have been a tragedy.”

The changes made to the lights meant that the right-turn arrow into High Street would only show when two or more cars were waiting.

The system was triggered by a loop that drivers activate by pulling forward into the junction.

But a spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said that drivers were not activating the loop.

“Unfortunately, lots of drivers in Brandon are not comfortable with pulling forward into the junction to make their right turn and instead wait behind the stop line so the arrow does not appear even when intended,” she said.

“It was the feeling of Cllr Bill Bishop that the residents would prefer the right turn arrow to appear every cycle even though this may cause extra delay at the junction.

“Suffolk County Council is happy to make the change and it will be in place within the next couple of weeks.”

Cllr Bishop said he would give money from his locality budget to the work if necessary.

Members of the public were also invited to meet with the highways officer on Monday, with only one attending.