Driving instructors shun '˜confusing' road junction

A controversial road junction which has confused certain motorists for years is now so confusing some driving instructors will not let learners tackle it.

Thursday, 21st July 2016, 3:57 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd July 2016, 2:29 pm
This junction is causing concern among motorists and driving instructors

Preston New Road in Marton sees hundreds of drivers every day cutting across from the central lane on to the junction leading onto Waterloo Road.

A driving instructor, who did not wish to be named, told the Gazette: “Nobody seems to know the correct way to do it because there are no arrow markings on the road.

“It’s one of the places driving instructors never take learner drivers because there’s so much confusion going on, and as a driving instructor I want to ensure the safety of my students.”

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This junction is causing concern among motorists and driving instructors

Blackpool Council said it is now looking into providing better signage to help drivers avoid confusuion.

Disgruntled driver John Duckett, 39, recorded the chaos on his phone after he says he was forced to swerve to avoid a motorcyclist who pulled out in front of him from the central lane while he was heading onto the junction.

He said: “I’m surprised that there isn’t an accident on that road every day. It’s a very dangerous place to be.

“It’s only a matter of time before someone gets knocked down and killed.

This junction is causing concern among motorists and driving instructors

“If I hadn’t braked when I had people could be reading that a young lad on a motorbike had been run over.”

The father-of-two, who works in Blackpool as a mechanic, added that the lack of road markings was to blame for the widespread confusion.

He said: “There’s no road markings to state where you can turn and so people take it upon themselves and there’s not much you can do, unfortunately.

“There doesn’t need to be any traffic lights – just clear signs on the road. You certainly wouldn’t go from the middle lane on a motorway onto a junction – you would go from the left-hand lane.

“But because it’s a 30mph dual carriageway people think it’s all right.”

Driving instructor Simon Ballinger, of Bal Driving Tuition on Lune Grove, said: “Let’s say you’re in the left hand lane and someone cuts you off – that shouldn’t happen.

“A left turn should be done from a left-hand lane and this area is no different.”

Guidance from the Highway Code says drivers heading towards South Shore or Marton should stay in the left hand lane on South Park Drive as they turn onto Preston New Road.

Once on Preston NewRoad they should remain in the left hand lane whether heading towards Waterloo Road or Vicarage Lane.

A Blackpool Council spokesman said: “The layout of this junction has been the same for decades and we’ve had no accidents reported to us in recent years.

“However in the past few months a number of residents have been in touch to say they think that it is confusing.

“We are now looking to see if any additional signage or road marking could make it clearer.”