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Island traffic light saga resolved?

14th January 2015
Island traffic light saga resolved?

Local MP Gordon Henderson has welcomed an admission by Kent County Council that his concerns were justified about the effectiveness of the traffic lights located at the junction of Barton Hill Drive and the Lower Road on the Isle of Sheppey.

Mr Henderson has been campaigning for action to solve the long running congestion at the Cowstead Corner roundabout and blamed the problem on the Barton Hill Drive traffic lights, which he urged KCC to upgrade.

The KCC Highways Department maintained there was nothing wrong with the traffic lights and insisted that the only solution to the problem was construction of a roundabout.

Whilst Mr Henderson agreed that a roundabout was the only long term solution he insisted that KCC review the efficiency of the lights, which he said were not working properly. Eventually they agreed to check out the operation of the lights.

Following that review Mr Henderson received a letter from Ruth Goudie, who is the county’s Strategic Transportation Planner, in which she admitted that the traffic lights have not been working properly.

Ms Goudie wrote:

“Following site visits by traffic signal engineers, two issues were identified which were adversely affecting the performance of the junction. Firstly a damaged cable: likely to have been caused by a third party working on the highway but this has been rectified. The other issue relates to the right turn signal being requested unnecessarily due to the existing in-carriageway detector arrangement and geometry of the site. An additional device is to be installed at the stop line for the right turn which will prevent phantom demands from causing delays to other approaches. Once these measures have been implemented it will not be possible for the current situation to re-occur.”

Mr Henderson said:

‘I am pleased that Kent Highways have now identified the problem that was affecting the Barton Hill Drive traffic lights. I very much hope that once the new device is put in place the traffic flow at the junction will improve, however, I have my doubts.

‘The only long term solution is to replace the traffic lights with a roundabout and this is what I will continue to press for.’

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