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New junction criticised as 'dangerous' by taxi driver




Taxi driver Paul Saunders says the new Spread Eagle junction has design faults bringing traffic into conflict. Picture Mark Westley. (2534035)
Taxi driver Paul Saunders says the new Spread Eagle junction has design faults bringing traffic into conflict. Picture Mark Westley. (2534035)

A taxi driver has slammed safety at a new town centre junction after three near misses in a week.

Paul Saunders, a driver with 247 Cars, believes recent changes to Bury St Edmunds’ Spread Eagle junction, which he uses several times a day, have removed safety features and sown confusion in drivers minds.

He says when approaching from Horringer Road to turn left, there are now two lanes marked with straight ahead arrows where there used to be one marked for a left turn and one for straight on so now two lanes are trying join to go straight on.

He added:” The right turns are lethal. When turning from Out Westgate into Petticoat Lane you are confronted with a green traffic light and a give way line.

“People think the solid green light allows them to turn, but traffic from the other direction also has a solid green light. Hardly surprising when near collisions occur. “

He says when turning right Horringer Road to Vinery Road, drivers also think, having crossed the stop line to wait for oncoming traffic they must stay there if their light turns red, preventing traffic turning right from Vinery Road/Petticoat Lane.

He admits that is drivers not knowing the Highway Code but adds: “You shouldn’t be putting that much doubt in people’s minds.”

Suffolk Highways said the junction work has not changed the way it operates and the right turn into Petticoat Lane and Vinery Road was 'give way' to oncoming traffic.

A spokesman added: “Signs and road-markings warn drivers of the need to give way to oncoming traffic.

"Detector loops are present in the right turn lanes and are activated when vehicles proceed on the green signal over the stop line.

"This ensures additional time is given in the all red phase to allow traffic to safely complete the right turn.

“Assessments of the junction, post improvements, show that the signals and the operation of the junction work well and are safe.”



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