Slip road is a blackspot

I must agree with your reader Kevin Smith (letters Nov 30th) regarding the new filter lane from the A1(M) into Letchworth GC. It is not only van drivers that are having problems.When driving a regular hatchback unless you are capable of twisting your neck

I must agree with your reader Kevin Smith (letters Nov 30th) regarding the new filter lane from the A1(M) into Letchworth GC.

It is not only van drivers that are having problems.When driving a regular hatchback unless you are capable of twisting your neck 120 degrees to the right it is not at all easy to see traffic approaching. Using the offside door mirror doesn't give a good view either due to the extreme angle at which the filter lane joins the A505. At night time it is even worse.

I foresee a number of accidents occuring with the result that many might avoid using the filter lane altogether and just turn left at the traffic lights. I would be interested in any comment from the Highways Agency.

Martin Swan, Penn Way, Letchworth GC


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* I endorse Kevin Smith's view (Letters, Comet November 30) that Letchworth's new filter lane from the A1(M) can only be negotiated safely by craning one's head at an almost impossible angle. So after months of cone-infested, fury-inducing traffic delays we're left with a pain in the neck!

BARRY EDWARDS, Baldock Road, Letchworth

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* I cannot agree more with the observations regarding the A1M filter lane at Letchworth. The following day, at about 5.30 pm, I saw the aftermath of a three-car shunt at the top of the lane where a car had clearly pulled out and been hit in the rear by a car leaving the roundabout.

When will the traffic lights be switched on? They will help alleviate the situation by providing a reasonably clear traffic gap for cars to pull off the slip road.

But the design of this junction will inevitably create an accident blackspot.

Gary Nye, Farthing Drive, Letchworth Garden City

* Having just read a letter 'Road misery at new filter lane' the gentlemen in question has asked if car drivers find this easier.

Having used this exit regularly on the south-bound exit of the A1, I can assure him that to see any oncoming vehicles you have to use the rear passenger window. It will only be a matter of time before there is a serious accident. Sooner rather than later I think.

Philip Seddon, Address supplied

* I use Letchworth Gate every day on my drive to and from work and read with interest the letter published in last week's Comet from Mr Smith concerning the poor line of sight at the new A1(M) northbound filter lane.

During the week I have been astounded at just how many of my friends, relatives and work colleagues have all, without any prompting from myself, reached the same conclusion, that this new filter lane is an accident blackspot; so concerned are some that they manage to avoid using it altogether by indicating right and completing a full circuit of the roundabout before taking the Letchworth exit!

On three occasions I have personally witnessed near misses, and I have twice noticed large piles of freshly broken glass on the Tarmac, presumably from earlier collisions of which I suspect there have been several aready.

The combination of a poor line of sight, the high speed of vehicles on the roundabout and the difficulty in telling whether they intend coming off or continuing round, is a lethal combination. In my view, the filter lane should be closed to traffic immediately, pending a safety re-evaluation, to ensure that there isn't a serious accident. I suggested exactly this to Hertfordshire Highways, the company responsible for constructing the new filter lane, last Wednesday (29th November), but to date have received nothing by way of response.

JOHN FRANKLIN, Shott Lane, Letchworth Garden City

* Does anyone else think that the new northbound A1(M) exit slip road for Letchworth Garden City is dangerous? It is very difficult to see traffic coming from Baldock, due to the acute angle of the road you have to look backwards over your right shoulder to make sure the road is clear. This week after only two weeks of the road being open I've seen one very close shave and then, tonight, an accident. The traffic lights need to be made operational as soon as possible.

Ian Steeples, Letchworth Garden City

* Following Mr Smith's letter in last week's Comet on the 'road misery of new filter lane', I would like to endorse his view of a new blackspot.

As a car driver, I have also noticed, when using the filter lane from the A1(M) into Letchworth Gate, that it is virtually impossible to see traffic coming off the roundabout. The only safe way to check for on-coming cars seems to be to stop the car and twisting from the waist, turn your head and shoulders as far to the right and back as you can. Anything less may result in an accident with a vehicle coming from the roundabout or being shunted from behind while you make the go/no-go judgement at the junction. The latter incident appeared to have already occured on Friday December 1 in the evening rush hour.

Until the road junction is made more safe, I shall drive right at the roundabout when I come off the A1 (M), and enter Letchworth as though from the Baldock direction.

It is a pity that so much time and effort on the new layout has not proved to be as safe to use at it was hoped.

Harriet Webb, Meadow Way, Letchworth Garden City

* Letchworth's new accident black spot. The new slip road to Letchworth is causing a problem due to the angle of joining the main road. It's almost impossible to see without swivelling round in your seat. I've reported the problem to Hertfordshire council but to date have had no response. I've just driven past and there's an accident at just that point. MPs, police road safety experts and an official council investigation are called for.

Kevin Stoker, Address supplied

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