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New petition launched over Worcester's revamped Whittington island
A FACEBOOK campaign has launched to try and get Worcestershire County Council to look again at the revamped Whittington Island - with angry drivers calling it "dangerous".
Since its launch last Friday, a new online petition to get the south Worcester roundabout revisited has already gained 294 signatures - while streams of motorists have used the Facebook page to leave comments criticising its layout.
Back in 2012 the council spent £1.3 million revamping the island, with a new slip road created for drivers leaving Junction 7 of the M5 to head left towards Norton.
The slip access means drivers have to abruptly halt and look over their right shoulder to give away first, leading to complaints about safety.
St John's-based campaigner Lisa Ventura has set up the fresh campaign after witnessing what she calls "another near miss" at the island last Thursday. She said: "We were coming back from Bromsgrove and got off the M5 at Junction 7.
"We were in the far left lane to go home towards Powick and someone turned left from the wrong lane, caused another car to brake and the vehicle behind them to brake hard to avoid hitting them from behind.
"It was so close. "
She added: "The road is not fit for purpose and needs reviewing urgently by Worcestershire County Council before a more serious accident happens and lives are lost."
The Facebook page had been 'liked' 156 times up to yesterday, with drivers calling it "poorly designed" and some saying they refuse to use the left turn slip lane.
The county council has insisted the investment was worth it, saying it is part of plans to part-dual the A4440 Southern Link Road by 2019 to ease congestion.
As part of that work, which is subject to private sector funding, within five years the slip lane will turn into a new access route all the way to Norton island that does not require drivers to stop and look right.
The £1.3 million revamp was deliberately designed in the expectation the dualling will take place.
Councillor Simon Geraghty, deputy leader and cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure, said: "We've got an overall plan to dual the Southern Link Road and once we've finished that stretch from Whittington island to Norton roundabout, and then this problem will resolve itself.
"There will be a proper slip road that runs all the way down that route, so this issue will right itself, it's just that we cannot do it right at this moment."
A bid has also been made to the Government for £63 million to dual Carrington Bridge, being led by Worcestershire's Local Enterprise Partnership
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