The replacing of a roundabout at one of Scarborough’s busiest junctions with traffic lights has been met with scepticism by local councillors.
North Yorkshire County Council is proposing to install traffic signals at the junction of Falsgrave Road and Scalby Road, known locally as the “Crown Tavern junction” after the pub located where the roads meet.
The plan is part of a £4m upgrade of four junctions in the town to “future proof” Scarborough for the anticipated increase in traffic in the next 15 years.
At a meeting of the county council’s Scarborough Area Committee today two councillors from across the political divide said they did not believe the change to replace the existing mini-roundabout would work.
Labour Cllr Tony Randerson said that his experience was that traffic lights only lead to delays for motorists.
He said: “Currently, I use the Crown Tavern junction every day and in the morning and evening it is gridlocked, as Seamer Road is also.
“The problem is lights do not talk to each other. The ones at the park and ride in Seamer are on red when nothing is coming the other way. That frustrates people and it causes gridlock. Every time I come from Eastfield into town it is nose to nose.”
Conservative Cllr Andrew Jenkinson said he agreed with Cllr Randerson “100%” that the lights were not working in sync to direct traffic.
He said: “Traffic lights in the town centre do not talk to each other, at 3pm it is gridlock. I have become convinced that they are being operated by Bridlington to ensure people get frustrated and go there instead.
“This is what worries me about the Crown Tavern, if the lights don’t talk [to each other] it won’t work. If this does work then fantastic but I don’t think it will work, sorry. It’s rubbish, in my opinion.”
The county council’s area highways manager Richard Mar told the councillors that the traffic lights at Falsgrave would be using “new technology” that should ensure the lights work properly.
He added: “Traffic lights by their nature make junctions more efficient but to do so you have to wait at red light sometimes.”
Mr Marr said that without traffic lights it would make it difficult for pedestrians to cross.
Not all councillors were opposed to the lights, however.
Cllr Roberta Swiers (Con) said that she was speaking with 35 years’ experience as a driving instructor in the town.
She said: “I totally agree with these lights. You have to wait at lights in any busy town or city.
“That mini-roundabout at the Crown Tavern is deadly in my view. It is neither there or not, people just cut across it. But, I am thinking of the pedestrians, of the students walking up to college who struggle to cross there, lights will help them.”
The public will get to have their say on the proposals at a consultation event tomorrow (Thursday) between 2pm and 7pm at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Stepney Road.