A blackspot in the making

A MAJOR roadworks scheme that cost an estimated £1m includes a new junction deemed to be an accident blackspot by many drivers. The newly created filter lane, connecting junction nine of the A1 (M) with Letchworth Gate, has been engineered in such a way t

A MAJOR roadworks scheme that cost an estimated £1m includes a new junction deemed to be an accident blackspot by many drivers.

The newly created filter lane, connecting junction nine of the A1 (M) with Letchworth Gate, has been engineered in such a way that drivers have to swivel considerably in their seats at the lane's junction, in order to see oncoming traffic from the busy Letchworth Gate roundabout.

Kevin Smith, of Hopton Road, Stevenage, said: "I think the Highways Agency and Hertfordshire County Council have inadvertently created an accident blackspot."

Tony Clarke, of Bush Spring, Baldock, is a driving instructor, a Driving Standards Agency registered fleet driver trainer and also teaches advanced driving and motorcycling.


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He said: "I have never seen such a badly engineered junction in the UK.

"It's a ridiculous angle of entry.

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"We now have to enter Letchworth Gate with traffic approaching us in our blind spot at high speed.

"What has the Highways Agency just guaranteed? Lots and lots of rear end shunts.

"I pass the junction several times a day and can confirm that this is the case.

"They have turned a difficult junction into a dangerous one.

"How much money has been spent on this moronic scheme and why is the Government funding it?"

Mr Clarke recently taught a young man, who works for Hertfordshire Highways, to drive.

Apparently his job was to draw road improvement schemes.

Mr Clarke said: "To give a non-driver such a job is a complete no-brainer."

A spokesman for Hertfordshire Highways said: "We are aware of concerns being raised but we can't comment on the possible cases of individual accidents for legal reasons.

"There's inevitably a settling in period for drivers to adapt to the new system. Hertfordshire Highways will do a standard safety check in about six months time and will decide if there are any amendments to the work that need to be made.

"If there are any safety issues, they will be addressed as part of that routine.

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