YOUR LETTERS: Flaws in A16 design increase accident risk

Reader says flawed design makes accidents more likely on A16.
Reader says flawed design makes accidents more likely on A16.

The A16 road is not at capacity according to the council’s highways department. That may be true, but it has serious flaws in its design that make the risk of accidents occurring significantly higher.

The evidence can be clearly seen by travelling along the A16 either from Peterborough to Spalding or vice versa.

So let us travel from the A15/A16 roundabout on the Spalding bypass. At the roundabout the driver is required to make the following traffic flow risk judgement. Two lanes of traffic from the right and one lane on the right. Travel towards Peterborough. Mill Drove. Risk judgement, traffic crossing from the right, traffic entering the road on the left. Roundabout at Moulton Chapel, risk judgement two lanes of traffic from the right, one lane entering from the left. Travel towards Crowland, Queen’s Bank nil risk as overpass. Crowland Bypass B1166. Risk judgement. Traffic turning left in front. Traffic crossing in front from the central reservation. Traffic turning right into the central reservation. Traffic crossing from the left into the central reservation. Traffic from Peterborough turning right into the central reservation.Traffic entering from the left.

Travel to the B1040 junction of similar design to the B1166. Risk judgement. Traffic turning left in front. Traffic crossing in front from central reservation. Traffic turning right into the central reservation. Traffic crossing from the left into the central reservation. Traffic from Peterborough turning right into central reservation.Traffic entering from the left.

There is a significant risk of driver’s judgement being in error at the B1166 junction because of the volume and speed of traffic passing the junctions and entering and leaving. It requires a much higher degree of judgement to negotiate this junction than any other on this road. In addition some drivers are using the section from this junction to the Peterborough Road South as a rat run, travelling at high speeds to overtake lorries going towards Peterborough or Spalding, arriving at the junction at high speeds. Although the B1040 is of similar design it has a significantly lower volume of traffic use.

Travel to the Peterborough Road South roundabout. Risk judgement two lanes of traffic from the right plus one lane on the right. One lane entering on the left. The remaining sections, Wrights Drove risk nil, the roundabout at the B1443 junction, risk two lanes from the right, one entering from the right and one lane entering from the left along is as others on the road.

The multi-lane section of the Eye roundabout may still confuse but it is a low speed section.

In addition the long straight sections of the A16 have little or no reference points to enable the driver to assess the distance or speed of oncoming vehicles, increasing the unsafe overtaking that takes place most days, where particularly in bright sunny conditions it is more difficult to judge oncoming traffic speed. So it is a badly designed road with high levels of slow moving lorries creating convoys that encourage some drivers to take risks. The capacity of a road is merely one parameter. The design is much more relevant to the safe passage of the vehicle drive.

Mike Harrison

Spalding