Watch: Concerned driving instructor shows what you shouldn’t do on the NDR roundabouts
PUBLISHED: 18:39 08 May 2018 | UPDATED: 08:18 09 May 2018
A driving instructor has warned he fears a combination of poor driving and the design of the roundabouts on the Broadland Northway means a serious accident is waiting to happen.
Martin Wright, of Thorpe St Andrew-based Wrightlearn, said he regularly sees drivers cutting across lanes on the £205m road’s roundabouts and believes the design is confusing motorists.
But bosses at Norfolk County Council, which built what was previously known as the Northern Distributor Road,said the roundabouts complied with UK highway design standards.
They said there had been four injury accidents since the first section opened in November last year. While they were all at roundabouts, they said such a record did not cause “undue concern” at the present time.
But Martin Wright, of Thorpe St Andrew-based Wrightlearn, a driving instructor for more than six years, said: “A few of the other driving instructors and myself are pretty concerned. I know three driving instructors who have had accidents and there have been near misses as well.
“The actual road itself, I really like, but the first time I used it I was surprised at the design of the roundabouts and the way people are driving around them.
“The fact that there are three lanes instead of two is causing confusion. If you’re going straight and you’re in the left lane, it takes quite a long time to get round some of the roundabouts. Some drivers end up crossing over and straddling both lanes, which can be dangerous.
“And, when you’re in that left lane going straight, there are times when fast cars coming from the right are going straight over and cutting people up.
“You end up driving very defensively, because you don’t feel safe. And I say that as an experienced driving instructor. I’m taking inexperienced drivers out on this road and I worry about them.”
Mr Wright highlighted several places where signs and kerbs were being fixed because vehicles had ended up on roundabouts.
He said the problems were occurring because of a combination of the design of the roundabouts and poor driving.
He said: “Somebody needs to watch what is going on before there’s a serious accident.”
What the council says about the issues raised
Issue: Having three lanes, instead of two, at roundabouts causes confusion.
Answer: Three lanes are provided on some approaches to roundabouts to accommodate forecast traffic flows. For consistency, three lanes are also provided around the circulatory width of the roundabouts. The lines on the roundabouts are provided for guidance and can be crossed if the driver thinks it is safe to do so.
Issue: People going straight ahead in the left lane have to swing round so much, fast cars from the right, going straight ahead, cut them up.
Answer: There are two exit lanes available from all roundabouts into two lane carriageways, therefore there is no reason for cars to cut across and create conflict.
Issue: At the A47 Brundall roundabout, there are yellow slow down markers on the road. Why not on the NDR?
Answer: Should not be necessary, given chevrons on roundabouts, large signs and reduce speed now signs.
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