DCSIMG

Drivers ‘forced to break law’ – claim

The box junction and pedestrian crossing at the junction of the promenade and New Bonny Street, where it is claimed a traffic offence is unavoidable.

The box junction and pedestrian crossing at the junction of the promenade and New Bonny Street, where it is claimed a traffic offence is unavoidable.

Concern has been raised that the layout of a busy road 
junction is forcing drivers to commit a traffic offence.

Police chiefs have confirmed they have asked Blackpool Council to review the junction of New Bonny Street and the Promenade.

Around 12 months ago the council removed the traffic lights at the end of New Bonny Street to help ease congestion.

A yellow ‘no-stopping zone’ box was then painted at the junction on the Prom to create a space for traffic to flow.

However, immediately to the south of the junction there is a pedestrian crossing.

And some motorists have warned that if the pelican crossing lights turn red as a driver is approaching, there is no choice but to stop in the box junction, which is an offence.

Graham Newton, of Anchorsholme, regularly uses the route and has now raised the issue with police and town hall highways chiefs.

He said: “You can enter the box junction when it is clear to proceed, but then have to stop because the light has changed to red.

“What do you do? It is an offence to stop in the box junction, but it is also an offence to go through a red light.

“I’m also worried that one day a driver may panic, put their foot down and go through the red light to ensure they don’t get caught in the box junction.

“It is creating a situation where someone could get knocked down.”

Frank Landini, chairman of the Blackpool Licensed Taxi Operators’ Association, said: “Sometimes if you are letting someone out of the junction and then the pedestrian crossing turns red, you can find yourself caught in the box junction and there is nothing you can do about it.

“However, since the council removed the traffic lights on New Bonny Street, it has helped traffic to flow better. There is no easy solution.”

A spokesman for Blackpool Police said: “I can confirm that we are aware of the issue with the traffic junction on New Bonny Street and the Promenade in Blackpool.

“We are currently in discussions with Blackpool Council to agree a solution.”

Coun John Jones, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Since last summer we have trialled the removal of two sets of traffic lights, at Talbot Square and New Bonny Street, as a suggested way to improve the traffic flow along the Promenade. The trial is so far working really well and we are in the process of developing a permanent design.”

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