THE recently completed junction that replaced the roundabout where the Itchen Bridge meets Central Bridge, Saltmarsh Road and Albert Road North seemed like a good, well thought out design, though it wasn’t originally anything close to a Dutch-style layout like they touted.
I do remember it would have been a vast improvement to that junction, as I remember when the plans were first revealed that there would be seperate cycle lights to allow cyclists at the originally planned advanced stop lines (ASLs) to cross the junction/ make turns ahead of motorised traffic, and then wide, shared paths going from one end of the Itchen Bridge to the other, on both sides of the road, which would have been a semi-Dutch design.
What we have ended up with instead is death waiting to happen, not only on the junction itself but also at the silly little bus bypasses at two of the three bus stops around the junction which are barely a fifth of the size used on London’s Cycle Super Highways, some of which are far closer to Dutch designs than SCC’s attempt. The junction that our council has installed, is actually an American design that is dangerous, there are also no ASLs at any of the lights which is dangerous when motorists are allowed to turn left, as this often results in cyclists being overtaken by a left-turning vehicle.
Cycle lanes going up the inside of traffic exacerbates the problem further, especially with large vehicles.
A true Dutch-style junction would have seen cycle paths put in with cycle crossings that have lights prioritised for cyclists so there is minimal delay for them and to make it safe for them to cross the junction – that would have been a truly Dutch-style junction.
I will be using this junction as often as possible over the next few months to keep an eye on the situation and will be sure to document anything and everything that happens using my helmet camera and rear-facing bike camera.
I personally will not be using the silly green paint or bus bypasses on or around the junction though, as it is probably more dangerous than the roundabout it replaced.
Southampton City Council, please, send someone to Amsterdam to have a real look at the Dutch designs and then dramatically change this junction to match what that person sees in Amsterdam.
Michael Andrews, from Thornhill, Southampton