Europe is sig­nal for about turn

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - JUNCTION 10 - by Kirsty Parkin

‘NAKED’ roads which have been stripped of their traf­fic lights have proved safe and suc­cess­ful in Europe. This gives hope to the hun­dreds of who have writ­ten say­ing they do not want lights to re­turn to the Junc­tion 10 round­about. Ac­cord­ing to the mo­torists who use it, the round­about has been flow­ing bet­ter and is safer with­out the lights. This is a view shared by one of Europe’s lead­ing road en­gi­neers, Hans Mon­der­man. He was in­volved with the re­design of the Dutch town of Drachten where the ma­jor­ity of traf­fic lights were re­moved from streets. The think­ing be­hind this was that as driv­ing in this en­vi­ron­ment is more chal­leng­ing, mo­torists take more re­spon­si­bil­ity. The re­sult was a bet­ter flow of traf­fic and fewer ac­ci­dents. The de­sign is based on a ‘shared space’ sys­tem, which sees roads de-clut­tered of mark­ings, lights and signs to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment where mo­torists and pedes­tri­ans have equal rights. Last year Ash­ford coun­cil­lors and road chiefs went to Hol­land to see how the sys­tem op­er­ates, with the in­ten­tion of bring­ing it to the ring road.

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