The very long rebuild of the double roundabouts at Bruce Street on Great Western Way was completed of the weekend of 5 and 6 March when traffic cones were removed, signage unveiled and road markings put down.
But now that the contractors out of the way, drivers have been putting the design to the test – and it has been an uncomfortable experience for some. With many entry and exit points the possibility for confusion is considerable, though Swindon Council says the new layout is working smoothly and drivers need to take more care to get used to it.
Getting to Rodbourne Road from the roundabout is a particular problem as drivers have to enter a junction and may have to wait at a give way sign for traffic from Kemble Drive coming from the left. It seems like roundabouts in France and Greece where drivers have to give way to traffic entering the junction.
However if too many drivers are trying to get to Rodbourne Road and too many vehicles are coming from the left, vehicles back up onto the main roundabout itself causing drivers trying to go further round to access another exit to take avoiding action.
Drivers coming from Kemble Drive are also stopping, thinking that drivers on the roundabout have priority although road marking show they do not.
Rodbourne Cheney councillor Des Moffat said he is worried that drivers are being caught unawares by the new design. “Kemble Drive has unrestricted access to the roundabout against all traffic from and too Rodbourne Road South.
“I watched the traffic movements for a while on the first day and it is clear that there is a problem. While mutual indecision can be an aid to road safety, this is unplanned indecision for drivers and may cause accidents because traffic is backing up onto the main roundabout itself. This needs to be looked at immediately.”
A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “The new junction appears to be working well, but there will inevitably be a short period where drivers need to get used to the new road layout.
“The section in question at Rodbourne Road is a give way junction. Our advice to motorists is take the new roundabout carefully, and don’t presume you know the layout. Give way as you would on any other junction of this type.
“The road markings have now been painted and the traffic signals are about to be turned on. This will make navigating the new junction even easier. A standard safety audit will be carried out when the traffic signals are in operation to consider if any improvements are needed to help motorists.”
Top and below, the Rodbourne Road and Kemble Drive side of the newly completed Bruce Street Bridges roundabout. All photos by Richard Wintle of Calyx
Comments from Facebook:
Graham Snider The lines are wrong if you are coming from the Oasis to the roundabout and there is going to a few near misses there if not crashes