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NEW traffic light signalling on the A350 Farmers Roundabout has received a mixed response from road users.
Some drivers have described the new system as ‘brilliant’. Whilst others have said that the traffic lights have made no difference to traffic flow, and that a bypass is the only solution to reduce congestion.
The traffic lights began operation last month after nine months of road works. Other alterations made to the roundabout include increased space around the roundabout by building into the existing island, and more lanes approaching the roundabout and around it.
About the new-look Farmers Roundabout, Tracey Fisher said, “Much better, great work.”
Cheryl Scott added, “(I) think it works brilliantly.”
Jane Warburton said, “Each time I have used it the traffic has been flowing like a dream.”
Erika Jane said, “With the amount of traffic I don’t (think) anything will fix that. But I’m loving it! Makes it so easy. Need to get used to the lanes, but hey I like it.”
Paula Jane Clift Ferguson added, “Surprised at how good it seems to be working. There will always be queues in peak periods in any town but I feel it is a positive improvement.”
However, not everyone is happy about the changes. Stuart Jackson said, “As a resident of Beanacre, we see no difference, traffic queues all the way to Lacock at peak times. It’s a bypass that was needed!”
A spokesperson from Melksham Car Care Centre said, “Traffic is still backed up the bypass every morning the same as before. The council wasted 3.5 million pounds.”
Sonia Woodall added, “No different from when there were no lights to be honest.”
Julie Davies-Brokas said, “Twice since lights going live I have been stuck (early afternoon not a peak period) in a queue going from Berryfields roundabout to Farmers Roundabout.
“When I’ve got to the roundabout, cars from the right were blocking the way onto the roundabout from my direction and (it) seemed to be queuing traffic going towards Chippenham. If there is any issue with Asda traffic lights, traffic lights 200 yards further on or McDonald’s traffic lights it gridlocks and no one can move.”
About the increase in the number of lanes approaching the roundabout and around it, Mark Stoddart said, “Coming from Chippenham past Asda two lanes go into three – this is confusing for some as left lane (goes) to town centre the other two (go) to Bradford on Avon or down the bypass.”
Sue Brown added, “Traffic has been flowing well whenever we’ve been through. But the two lanes marked ‘Bath’ from the town centre become one without warning as you pass Asda.”
Sue Stone said, “Lights are great but the two lanes that go towards Chippenham seem wrongly marked to me.”
The changes to the roundabout, first announced in 2016, were initially criticised by the community. Many residents had predicted that the new signalling system would only make traffic worse in the area, despite Wiltshire Council’s assurance that it would ‘improve the overall traffic flow and reduce queues and delays’.