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Councillor criticises 'dangerous’ roundabout revamp
WORCESTER’S Whittington roundabout revamp has been branded “chaotic and potentially dangerous” during a bad-tempered city council meeting.
Councillor Paul Denham, the deputy leader of the city’s Labour group, said the £1.3 million overhaul of the route was done “without any mandate” from the public.
At a meeting of full council, he said the “large number of complaints” about the route should have raised alarm bells.
The roundabout, which underwent months of alterations, is currently being looked at once again by highways chiefs after drivers said the sliproad was difficult to negotiate.
During the debate Coun Simon Geraghty, the city council’s leader, said he was confident the measures would reduce congestion.
Coun Denham said: “Given the large number of complaints from the public about the £1.3 million cost of the work done on this roundabout, the fears expressed that it is now chaotic and potentially dangerous, and the outrageous suggestion that motorists are somehow responsible for this situation, does the leader regret handing over this council’s funds to pay for this expensive mistake?”
He added people in Worcester were not consulted over it and that residents have gained no benefits from the changes.
Coun Geraghty, who is also the deputy leader at Worcestershire County Council , which delivered the revamp, rejected the criticism.
He said early estimates have shown that driving times leading up to and away from the roundabout from the M5 have shown reductions of up to two minutes on average.
“It represents a good investment in terms of cutting congestion and I’m absolutely confident the issues raised will be addressed,” he said. “Traffic congestion is always a matter of concern in the city and we do have a key role to play in tackling it.”
He also said he was “in no way putting the blame on motorists” for the current changes, which are being done largely because drivers were failing to stop on the sliproad to allow other traffic to go past.
New give way signage is being put by the sliproad, as well as earlier road markings, in a bid to make it safer. The Whittington roundabout takes motorists off the M5 down the A440.