MALVERN drivers are still getting to grips with a busy Worcester traffic island after its latest rejig, with one traffic expert saying it can take a months for people to get used to new road layouts.
The Whittington island, which takes traffic from junction seven of the M5 towards Malvern via the A4440, had a new slip road added for townbound traffic early this year.
But there were complaints from merging drivers that visibility was poor, forcing them to look back over their shoulder, and that there was not enough space or time allowed for cars to merge.
The junction has now been moved back towards the roundabout and more ‘give way’ signs put up, which traffic engineers hope has improved visibility and given drivers more time to merge.
But the jury is still out among Gazette readers, particularly as some drivers are now using the main roundabout junction and avoiding the slip-road altogether.
Andrew Howard is from the AA’s motoring policy team and although not familiar with the Whittington island, has had 22 years experience in the area.
He said: “Custom and practice develops where everybody understands how to use that particular roundabout [to get where they want]. If you change that, then local drivers have to relearn how to use it, and then that can cause issues.”
He said it can take months before drivers get the hang of any changes made to roads, and on busier roads in particular.
Malvern driver Adam Al Rasheed, who uses the roundabout every day to get to work in Droitwich, believes the new layout is overall a big improvement.
Jon Fraser, a county council highways manager, said it was “still early days”.
“It seems to be working relatively well, and we’re still seeing drivers using the middle lane in the peak hours, so we are looking at that.”