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Works are a waste of time and money
3:58pm Wednesday 25th September 2013 in Postbag
THE tax payers have been ripped off again.
Whoever it was at the Highways Agency who signed off the “improvements” to the Countess roundabout in 2010 should be dismissed – the only benefits were to Balfour Beatty, the outsourcing contractor that maintains the A303, and now also Wiltshire Council’s highways.
We were promised that the £16m spent on this single road junction would ease traffic.
A number of us were curious why this improvement did not include massive drums of yellow paint, to hatch the entry/exit to the A345.
‘It was not necessary, the traffic lights would suffice,’ we were told.
I could not have been the only one who thought I knew better than the authorities, and that all those multiple sets of traffic lights were not required; all that was required were large yellow hatched areas at the exit and entry to the A345.
Two years in, and every summer weekend you can bet that coming out of the A345 junction you will be blocked by vehicles on the A303 in their snarl to get down (or up) the A303.
Added to which the number of times I have come out of the Amesbury to turn east on the A303 and not had to wait for three sets of lights to change in my favour can be counted on one hand – and no other significant traffic on the A303 at all.
I just waste fuel, time and create more pollution by starting and stopping three times. What do I and a number of friends in Amesbury do now to avoid this boring routine?
We go up the London Road, a residential street, and join the A303 at Solstice Park.
Complaints of increased traffic in the town can be put down to three things: 1. The totally inept Countess roundabout “improvements”.
2. The lack of dualling of the A303 beyond the Countess roundabout.
3. The prevalence of GPS systems that automatically route drivers around traffic jams, which means they come through Amesbury centre.
We can’t undo this appalling waste of our tax money, but why can’t we re-programme the traffic lights to only come on at peak times – that at least would make the roundabout something we do not actively avoid seven days a week, and it would reduce the rat run effect on Amesbury’s roads, making them safer and quieter for everyone.
ADAM WOODS Amesbury
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