Rainhill Village Life - Supported by your Labour Councillors

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Stoops Island - Latest Update following Complaints

I have received several anonymous complaints regarding the waiting times because of the work being carried out. Jonathan and Ben emailed me and have given some thought to the situation and I have held some positive dialogue with the Council. The following is a copy of the email to Ben outlining the position and a possible improvement to traffic flows over the next 4 to 6 week period.

"Work on the roundabout comprises the construction of a "free flow link" from A570 southbound to M62 East (towards Manchester) and the widening of the north side of the roundabout from three lanes to five.

To enable the widening works on the roundabout to proceed, it will be necessary to restrict the roundabout to 2 lanes in order to provide a safety zone between the works and the live traffic lanes. The approaches from the A570 and A557 will have to be coned down to 2 lanes to facilitate this.

As the traffic signals have to be moved back and the ducts require extending, the traffic signals have been switched off with the exception of the signals on the approaches from the motorway. The Highways Agency have concerns about traffic backing up along the slip roads and blocking the motorway, so the signals have been retained at these locations to ensure that traffic queues do not build up excessively and block the motorway.

The particular officer travels through this junction on his journeys to and from work and he is aware of the longer than normal queues on the non-signalised approaches. He has spoken to the Traffic Control Section and they will look to reduce the green times for the slip roads and increased the green times for traffic on the roundabout. They can monitor the junction through CCTV cameras and will review the changes to the signal timings to ascertain whether they can get an improvement to traffic flows through the junction.

We hope to get the traffic signals working on the south side of the junction by the end of May. Although the official completion date for the whole scheme is October, we expect the works to be completed before this ( perhaps September) and some of the capacity improvements should be operational prior to this. Traffic flows are lighter in the late Spring/Summer, so the delays at the junction are likely to be less than if the works were being constructed through the Winter"

8 comment(s):

  • surely the works are necessary, as 1.7 million pounds is a lot of cash on a roundabout. Perhaps people should think of the long term benefits of the project instead of how quickly they can travel. Leave a little extra time for your journey is my advice, safe in the knowledge that you will be able to access the M62 eastbound like Schumacher at Monza in September. Alternatively get on the motorway at tarbock island!

    By Anonymous Flea, at 5:53 pm  

  • I don't disagree that the works are necessary. The point was that surely the delays caused by them could have been managed more effectively: a lot of traffic approaches Stoops Island from roads other than the M62 and these are at a serious disadvantage given that there are currently no lights in operation. I commute from Daresbury to Rainhill and back each day (so I don't actually need to get on the M62 at all...), and my typical journey can take around 40 minutes. I have been allowing for the delays caused by the road works. However, as stated in my previous comment, I did not anticipate having to queue for 50 minutes just to join the roundabout from the A557 last Thursday, thus more than doubling my journey time.

    I personally feel that the layout of the current roundabout is already quite dangerous when approaching from the A557 without this additional problem: the left turn only lane on the approach is constantly abused, with people using it a short-cut to bypass people queuing (in the correct lane) on the right. I commute this way every day and have had at least three near accidents as a result of this type of behaviour in the past few months - a redesign on this approach would be most helpful, although I don't believe that it will be included in the current bout of road works. At the very least it should be signed as a left-turn only much more clearly and the road markings should also be improved.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:22 am  

  • Since I posted my last comment I have had to change my opinion. My wife was stuck on the link road for 30 minutes while our 4 month old daughter 'screamed like hell' in the back! This meant I seriously got some moaning when she got home. Seriously though 50 minutes is a long time. when I travel on the A557 I too find the 'left turn only' ridiculous. Is there enough traffic going towards Liverpool? I suspect most people head for St Helens or M62 East (especially coming from over the bridge). I think this should be raised with the powers that be so it can be sorted during the current roadworks. Why not stick another 'Schumacher lane' in there too.

    Am I the only one who has noticed the widening on the inside of the roundabout looks like its going to go down the embankment! Surely this idea is crazy.

    By Anonymous Flea, at 10:28 pm  

  • Well I'm glad I'm not alone in having issues with the left turn only lane at the end of the A557! I really feel that something should be done about this - and perhaps removing the left-turn only status may be the best idea. It simply causes potential road-rage situations/near misses with other vehicles; I've seen many such situations which directly resulted from the current set-up, caused by people who cut in front of road users who have legitimately started off in the right-hand lane - as they should given the road markings - but need to get across to the left to leave at the A57 exit. People routinely use the right-hand "left turn only" lane as a shortcut and cut in front of people who are in the correct lane. I've nearly collided with one or two cars who've done just this to me. It happens so often that it's almost the norm - I see this every single day. Very dangerous.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:44 pm  

  • I think we are too reliant on road signs. Get rid of all the road signs. People would have to take more care and attention to what they and other road users are doing.

    What do you think of us changing to driving on the right, and also putting road signs in Kilometres like our European neighbours.

    By Anonymous Flea, at 8:37 pm  

  • Went on a nice little trip to Rivendell Garden cenre (A577) with the wife, the kid and the mother in law. Would you believe it, only had road rage on the way home because of that left turn lane. Big White van man came up behind me. I moved to the right lane, he under took me about 200 yards from the give way and swerved back in front of me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Its a good job the mother in law was there or I'd have screamed blue murder and launched the lane intrusive, diesel guzzling GOAT! Had to get my pertunias home though, it was forecast rain

    By Anonymous flea, at 12:08 am  

  • I suspect it happens daily to lots of people! I'm honestly surprised that I don't see more accidents happening there...

    Hope the pertunias made it OK! :o)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:02 pm  

  • Never mind the A557 from Widnes - that always was a nonsense from day one - inside lans should be M62 west and A57, but what do traffic enginers know?

    Coming from the A57 Rainhill to M62 eastbound, which lane do I use?

    Markings are still on the inside approaching the roundabout, but with only 2 lanes on the roundabout, a quick swap is needed to avoid going back to St Helens. A bit of white paint in that area woulds simplify life considerably. Too much to expect?

    If you are coming from Widnes, don't use the Stoops - come through Cronton or Sutton Manor!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:52 pm  

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