'˜Drivers are risking their lives' at accident blackspot
Hundreds of motorists have signed a petition demanding increased safety measures at an accident blackspot.
A campaign has been launched to lobby Highways England to alter traffic signals at Haydock Island, after drivers say they are “risking their lives” by using the junction.
The island, located at junction 23 of the M6, is used by thousands of vehicles a day travelling from Ashton and Haydock, as well as people using the motorway and the East Lancs Road.
Kirsty Martin, who launched the petition, says the aim of the campaign is to “improve signage, install traffic light cameras and yellow boxes and increase the delay between light changes. Anything to reduce the traffic accidents and improve driver confidence in the sequencing and safety of the junction”.
In 2015, the junction was re-configured to allow drivers coming from the East Lancs to cut through the centre of the roundabout to turn onto the M6 or the A49 Lodge Lane and since then, the number of crashes has doubled from seven to 19.
Despite this, Highways England said that it had not received any complaints about the island. The authority said that the traffic lights use sensors and urged people to “pay extra attention” when they approach the roundabout.
But some drivers fear safety has been compromised.
Jennifer Pilling, from Golborne, said: “The volume of accidents happening regularly is an obvious sign that there is something seriously wrong with the set-up of the lights on this island.
“A mixture of red light jumpers and those that are stranded in vulnerable places are the main issues.
“These are mainly caused by the short sequence of traffic light changes, sometimes only allowing for three cars at a time – throw an articulated lorry into the mix and it’s chaos. Please put cameras on all the lights and change the timings of the lights to allow a better flow of traffic.
“By restricting movement, people are literally risking their lives.”
More than 300 people have signed the petition, which needs 500 names attached before it can be sent to Highways England for them to consider it.
To see it, visit www.change.org/p/st-helens-council-haydock-junction-23