On 10 April Reading Borough Council (RBC) made changes to the priorities at the Albert/Highmoor Road junction. My earlier post sets these out.
|View north along Albert Road|
- Qu: How does the Highway Code say the junction should be driven? Does anyone have right of way?
- A: The junction is made up of 2 STOP approaches and 2 Give-Way approaches. Vehicles approaching the STOP approaches must stop and wait for a safe gap before moving off. Vehicles approaching the Give-Way must give way to traffic on the main road (i.e. the junction), so they must be prepared to stop. Therefore, traffic approaching along Albert Road must prepare to stop and give way if traffic emerging from Highmoor Road considered that it was clear to move off (or if turning traffic considers that it is clear to conduct this manoeuvre) and is entering/has entered the junction. This overcomes the prior situation, where traffic on Albert Road considered that it had the right of way and where many motorists would be making no alterations to their driving (speed) to take into account their approach to this junction.
Officer update: "This approach will have a far greater impact on traffic speeds and behaviour than a reduction of the speed limit and/or traffic calming would achieve."
In a situation where vehicles on Albert Road approach the junction in both directions, reasonable motorists could be expected to take turns in proceeding, depending on their indicated direction of travel.
- Officer update: "This proposal puts the expectation back on drivers to consider what is happening around them across the entire junction and to consider their movement around this.
How drivers should approach a Give Way and STOP junction are in the Highway Code, but this is not an exhaustive document, so this will be the case with numerous layouts that you will see."
- Qu: Will RBC be reviewing the success of the changes and if so, when?
- A: Casualty data obtained from the police has evidenced the historic road safety issues at this junction. This data is monitored and, following the implementation of these changes, we expect to see a reduction in - and hopefully no further - accidents involving injury at this location.
- Qu: Why, having told the local residents’ action group HARC, and local councillors that the STOP line on the west side of the junction could not be moved nearer the junction (thereby improving visibility - which is one of the actions originally requested) has it been done? This improvement could have prevented the need for making Albert Road drivers from needing to GIVE WAY?
|Black arrow marks position of the original STOP line|
- A: While I do not have the context of the statement made to HARC, I expect that this was stated because the junction is on a slight bend in the road and that the road is also not particularly wide at this point. Traffic travelling along Albert Road (particularly in a southbound direction) was slightly cutting this bend, reducing the width on the west side even further during free-flow. Moving the stop line out in this context would have created a risk of collision with the stopped traffic and the 'pinched' northbound lane. Now, however, Albert Road traffic will be considerably slower through the junction and must be prepared to stop/give way, and the cutting of the bend should also no longer be an issue. We have, therefore, been able to slightly move out the stop line.
This has been a change in a particularly sensitive area and it will take a little while for motorists to become familiar with the new layout.