Traffic lights 'would make things worse'

SIR - As an opening shot in the public consultation exercise on proposals for improving (?) the Westleigh Junction on the A39. On the main part of the North Devon Link Road there is a four-way junction leading souoth to South Molton and north to North Mol

SIR - As an opening shot in the public consultation exercise on proposals for improving (?) the Westleigh Junction on the A39.

On the main part of the North Devon Link Road there is a four-way junction leading souoth to South Molton and north to North Molton, surely a more hazardous and deserving target for improvements than the three-way junction at Westleigh. Why the difference in concern? Accident statistics? Political pressure?

Traffic lights at Westleigh would increase the problems of congestion at rush hours. They would also produce a knotting in traffic flow, itself a serious cause of accidents and adding to the risk of overtaking down the rest of the highway (but not at Westleigh).

On the Link Road and Atlantic Highway from Tiverton to the Cornish border there are no traffic lights. Why this unprecedented and unncessary innovation which, in itself, would take drivers by surprise and increase risks?


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It is, I think, accepted that the real solution is a roundabout. If so, who not save the �630,000 until later when, hopefully, the national and county deficits would be less and a roundabout could be afforded without indebtedness. It is throwing bad money before good; forgive the reverse pun.

Constructively and even though an accident analysis showing deaths as well as injuries along the whole of the A39 and Link Road has not been publishjed to show Westleigh in its true context, a better solution to the hazards at Westleigh would be to close the exit from the Bideford lane with Instow and east-the-Water traffic circling the Heywood Road roundabout and back-tracking over the bridge; but this happens on other main highways especially on city by-passes.

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The remaining danger from traffic, at present turning west onto the Barnstaple to Bideford lane would be lessened by removal of the confusion and could be reduced even further by converting the central island into an extended right turn lane. The present interactive signing could remain with, perhaps, narrowing stripes on the lane surface.

This solution would be easier, cheaper and without the continuing cost of using and maintaining traffic lights - less environmentally costly, too.

G P Hitchen, Bideford.

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