In response to your front page article in last week’s edition about black-spot junctions around the borough, notably the mini-round-about at Seamer:
There is plenty of grass verge all around the existing one to provide the space for a moderate size raised roundabout.
It would involve some realignment but would go a long way towards solving the problems and prevent drivers simply driving over the centre as many do now.
The problem with mini-roundabouts is that by definition they are usually quite small. (The one in question is very small.) They rely on drivers driving slow enough to negotiate the white painted circle, where possible, to provide separation from each other and that they follow the basic rules for roundabouts, ie give way to vehicles from the right.
The key element here is speed. When drivers drive over the top of the centre white circle they usually do so instead of reducing speed enough to drive around it, in addition they lose the separation that driving around it would provide.
The other junctions mentioned in the report are just all junctions the same as can be found anywhere in the country. Three out of the four already have traffic lights, so there is no reason to believe that traffic lights at Seamer will resolve to problem, what they will do is add to the congestion and increase pollution. After the change to traffic lights drivers familiar with the existing arrangements will have to remember that priorities will change! Different rules apply to turning right at traffic light to roundabouts. In the short term there may well be an increase in collisions.
So what is the problem? Well hard as it is to take I’m afraid its drivers - 98% of all collisions/accidents, call them what you will are down to drive error.
As a qualified volunteer instructor with IAM Roadsmart, I have more than 30 years experience in training drivers to pass the Advanced Driving Test. I know the problems drivers face, it’s often the result of lack of concentration, up-to-date knowledge of the highway-code, poor observation skills, signalling but not looking and not being proactive in seeking out potential danger.
None of these ‘problem junctions’ are the fault of the road.
Sure junctions can be engineered to minimise some potential dangers, but the bottom line is that drivers have to deal safely with whatever they are presented with.
The same junction or hazard visited several times in the same day will not be the same twice. Volumes of traffic will change, pedestrians crossing will change, factor in changing weather conditions and darkness and it simply compounds the issues.
Advanced Drivers use a 5 Phase system on the approach to any hazard.
This ensures that each hazard is dealt with systematically and when applied properly leaves nothing to chance.
Anyone interested in improving their driving or at least being made aware of any shortcomings should see our website www.iamroadsmart-scarborough.co.uk for details of our free driver/rider assessment sessions. The next one is April 17 at The Street, William Street Coach Park, Scarborough YO12 7PW from 7pm until dusk.