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Alternative Proposal for Sycamore Cross junction (A48/Five-Mile Lane)

posted 1 Feb 2013, 10:53 by Ian Perry   [ updated 11 Feb 2013, 08:51 ]

An alternative plan to the proposed traffic signals at Sycamore Cross has been put forwards, supported by extensive research on road junction safety for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.  The Vale council spends £75,000 each year on operating and maintaining the few existing traffic signals around the Vale of Glamorgan.  Conversion of the roundabout to a crossroads with traffic signals at Barons Court in Penarth, has resulted in an increase in the number of severe accidents recorded by South Wales Police.

A roundabout would require less space than the current proposal, reducing surface maintenance costs and run-off, and there is plenty of space on the land the Vale of Glamorgan Council already owns.

Sycamore Cross

The money saved could go towards improving access to the Amelia Trust Farm, with a foot and cycle path along the wide eastern verge of the top part of Five-Mile Lane, with only a small amount of additional land required to reach all the way to the farm - some of the land required may already be owned by the Amelia Trust... 

Sycamore Cross Roundabout

Research from the Netherlands, Sweden, France, Japan, Australia, the UK and even the USA has found that roundabouts often perform better than junctions with traffic signals in terms of both safety (motorists, cyclists and pedestrians) and minimising delays.

These research findings were put to the Vale of Glamorgan Council in 2012, prior to work beginning at Sycamore Cross - the junction of the A48, Five-Mile Lane and the lane to Pendoylan.

A study of 17 higher-speed rural intersections (speed limits of 40 mph or higher) found that the average injury crash rate per million entering vehicles was reduced by 84 percent and fatal crashes were eliminated when the intersections were converted to roundabouts.
Isebrands, H. 2009. Crash analysis of roundabouts and high-speed rural intersections. Transportation Research Record 2096:1-7.

“intersections controlled by traffic signals generally exhibit lower safety performance than comparable intersections controlled by roundabouts.”
Source: Monash University - CRASHES AT TRAFFIC SIGNALS

Studies of intersections in Europe and Australia that were converted to roundabouts have reported 25-87 percent reductions in injury crashes and 36-61 percent reductions in severe injury crashes.
Roundabouts: an informational guide. National Cooperative Highway Research Program Report no. 672. Washington, DC: 
Transportation Research Board.  Rodegerdts, L.; Bansen, J.; Tiesler, C.; Knudsen, J.; Myers, E.; Johnson, M.; Moule, M.; Persaud, 
B.; Lyon, C.; Hallmark, S.; Isebrands, H.; Crown, R.; Guichet, B.; and O’Brien, A. 2010.

“A 1993 study in the Netherlands examined collision experience at 181intersections converted to roundabouts. Pedestrian collisions (all injury severities) dropped 73% and pedestrian casualties dropped 89%.” (Weber, 2007)

"Roundabouts have an excellent reputation for improving traffic safety.  Reports from the United Kingdom and France indicate that accident risks at roundabouts range from 10 to 30 percent of those at conventional crossroads or T-junctions, with or without traffic signals."  ...
"The decrease of accidents with personal injuries is even more significant, particularly at rural crossroads."  
WERNER BRILON AND MARK VANDEHEY, Institute of Transport Engineers, Nov. 1998