Drivers fear ‘nightmare’ junction will lead to accidents

Drivers fear ‘nightmare’ junction will lead to accidents
A so-called ‘no priority’ junction in Merseyside has promoted confused motorists to speak out over serious safety fears. 

Spiral markings were added to the section of the road in Birkenhead by Wirral Council, as part of a £3.2million scheme to get people out of their cars and travel on foot or by bike instead.

All drivers and cyclists are supposed to slow down on approach to the junction before negotiating safely. But with no right of way, users are interpreting the system in different ways.

Many have taken to a Facebook group to express their concerns over the junction, mistaken by several as a roundabout.  

One person posted: “I had a near-miss. I went around and someone behind went straight across, so confusing!”

Another added: “I thought it was a roundabout so drove around it, but then I see people driving straight over. It won’t be long before there is an accident there unfortunately.”

Other comments including “no one seems to know for sure”, and “nightmare” seemed to sum up the widespread confusion.

Wirral Council was unable to explain the thinking behind the new markings, found by Wirral Met College on Tower Road.

A spokesperson told Liverpool Echo: “Junctions like this one are ‘no priority’ and do not give one vehicle a right over another nor do they give vehicle drivers priority over people walking and on bikes.

“They operate on the basis of all users reducing speed or stopping in order to negotiate the junction safety.”

The million-pound scheme has also seen pavements made wider, new walking and cycling routes installed and 130 trees planted, while the carriageway has been narrowed to single lanes to slow down vehicles.

A spokesperson for the Wirral Waters project, carried out by Wirral Council in conjunction with developer Peel, told the Daily Mail plans are also being made to reduce the speed limit along the 30mph road.

“The scheme has been designed to slow all vehicles right down, to be a more open shared space,” they said.

“At the moment, partly because of lockdown and partly because the street scape is a little ahead of other regeneration in the area, it looks a bit funny because people are going through at quite a speed.

“The idea is that it will eventually work like a European square type space, rather than somewhere people rattle through at 30pmh.”

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