‘GIVE WAY’ signs are being installed at the controversial ‘Wing Wah roundabout’ following accidents at the newly refurbished junction.
An independent review into the A45/Broad Lane roundabout, where the landmark Wing Wah Chinese restaurant is situated, stated many of the accidents were caused by drivers failing to stop and give way at the give way lines.
The consultants said motorists were seeing the green lights in the middle of the junction – meant for traffic coming from other directions – and assuming they had right of way.
As a result of the findings, the council has said it will now install LED Vehicle Activated ‘Give Way’ Signs (VAS) activated by traffic approaching at any speed.
They will flash brightly to provide extra alerts to drivers that they need to give way.
Black and white chevrons in the central island and bigger speed limit signs on the A45, London-bound approach to the junction will also be installed.
The additional work comes less than a year after the roundabout underwent a £1million make-over.
But following a number of accidents, road users and residents expressed their concerns about the layout – complaining the traffic lights and lanes are confusing – and asked for the junction to be reviewed.
Council officers blamed ‘driver error’ for accidents – cabinet member for city services, Coun Innes claiming in a recent full council meeting that the number of police-recorded accidents at the junction has not increased since the improvements.
She also pointed to improved traffic flow and said buses were taking 30 seconds less to travel up the road, which she asserted made a ‘massive’ difference in bus times.
Describing the Wing Wah roundabout as a ‘marmite junction’ – you either love it, or you hate it – Coun Innes added: “We’ve monitored the roundabout closely and we feel that these signs will help remind drivers that they need to give way.
“Most roundabouts also have chevrons so the introduction of these will also help remind drivers that they are entering an island.
“It’s important to be clear that the number of accidents at this junction is similar to the old layout and in line with junctions elsewhere – 12 accidents in the five years before 2015 and just two since its refurbishment last year.
“But every accident is one too many and we have to do all we can to help the situation.”
The signage, chevrons and speed limit signs will be installed later this month at a cost of roughly £100,000.
All work is expected to be finished before Christmas.