STRAIGHT TALK: Let’s take our time to cut out traffic snarl-ups

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FEW topics get people as hot under the collar as traffic problems – and Spalding has its fair share.

The second closure of part of Woolram Wygate has stoked widespread anger and our letter writers and online readers have had plenty to say about a suggestion that Swan Street’s junction with Station Approach should be closed permanently.

I’ve said before in this column that at the very least I want to see the traffic lights in Station Approach synchronised better to improve the flow of vehicles. It is a main road (A151) and traffic flow is badly interrupted by lights which only allow a handful of vehicles through.

I’m firmly in the camp of people who thought traffic flowed better while Swan Street was shut last year.

Now I think we need to take our time to get it right, what with Holland Market soon to be undergo a massive redevelopment. Let’s have every idea explored and rule nothing out – so we get it right for the long haul.

Talking of long hauls, a one-mile car journey along Winsover Road to work on Tuesday morning (I normally cycle) took 25 minutes. It was horrendous, frustrating and unacceptable.

What about switching off all the traffic lights (not the pedestrian crossing) and trialling a roundabout at the junction of Station Approach and Winsover Road?

And I like the suggestion of making Swan Street one way (and maybe only for use by buses?). That might work well with the bus station moved there.

That option wouldn’t go down well with one of today’s letter writers, Steve Barber (on page 6), who drives from Bourne Road to Camel Gate (Springfields) every weekday – and uses Swan Street, New Road, Westlode Street and Albion Street.

Even during Swan Street’s partial closure he would drive up Winfrey Avenue (by the football ground) to rejoin it instead of going on to Pinchbeck Road.

I was astounded and, as I know Steve, I rang him to ask why. He cited tailbacks at Pinchbeck’s Road junction with West Elloe Avenue. And he avoids another route via Hawthorn Bank, Cowbit Road, Love Lane and Halmergate because of school run traffic mayhem.

How many other drivers are heading right through town to avoid these snarl-ups? Isn’t this exactly what we should be trying to discourage?

That’s why debate – and action – is needed. Not urgently, but correctly.