Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mitton Street Roadworks

I've been quiet on this matter for good reason - I wanted to see how things settled down once traffic started to flow back through Stourport.

First off I was right in that blocking Gilgal to Mitton Street has meant the flow has improved; you still get the odd car slowing down, but I'll put that down to two problems I'll mention later.

At the island itself I can't comment on the Hartlebury Road traffic, except to say that at least they can see which vehicles are turning right and that traffic from this exit are on occasion slowed by right-turns from Worcester Road. The flow from Worcester Street has improved except for the odd slowdown already mentioned and the minor problem of not being able to see where cars are going due to the island's height.

Oh and general tip for island users - you don't change signals until you pass an exit - that means for those following the diversion the sequence is right, right, off/left as you pass each exit. Right, off/left means you're heading down Worcester Road so don't be surprised when someone tries to take advantage of the 'gap' you should be leaving them.

So yes as I said before merge the two Worcester Road lanes into one and lower the island and things would be even happier; add in a no-right-turn to Baldwin Road/Total and we'd be swimming in gravy.

So the slowdown problems - other than the big 10mph signs that everyone is ignoring because some idiot put them up when they were doing Gilgal thus rendering Mitton Street 10mph despite no work going on there at that time there are two problems manifesting here.

Firstly the road surface itself is falling apart - anyone with an ounce of sense would have spotted that they were a week ahead of schedule, had the road already dug-up, and thus thought "Hmm perhaps we can resurface this side and then switch around while it's all closed off" no of course not. So although there are no overt potholes the surface itself is so torn up that everyone slows down.

Next up is the positioning of the works themselves in Mitton Street; by default traffic should be staying in the left-hand lane as they go around;of course we know they don't, but in this instance they have to as the coning directs them in this manner. That is until you turn the corner proper and find yourself facing a set of roadworks that extends up the entire left-hand side of Mitton Street. Just a jink to the right, but not easy for the larger vehicles who have attempted to position themselves correctly as per the road markings.

As for signage itself someone hasn't thought about the dynamics in Gilgal. This is still building up to a queue for exactly the same reasons that exist without the roadworks i.e. the  turn, the narrowing bridge, and the island. However a new wrinkle has appeared as the signs telling you that the right-hand lane is closed don't appear until just as you get to the bottom corner of Gilgal, just at the point you can't do anything about it. So cars are pulling out into the right-hand lane mostly from the Minster Road traffic travelling down Gilgal and then coming to a halt and trying to get back into the queue. A sign nearer the top bend would be a benefit.

However all-in-all as I said the flow has improved, and as I've suggested elsewhere might be an idea as a permanent feature.