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Concern over doubling of crashes at Haydock Island

Coun Paul Tushingham raised the problem of road traffic collision around Haydock Island as early as 2012
Coun Paul Tushingham raised the problem of road traffic collision around Haydock Island as early as 2012
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The number of crashes at a busy motorway junction has more than doubled in two years following a multi-million pound overhaul.

Commuters using Haydock Island at Junction 23 of the M6 are “extremely worried” about using the roundabout due to the lack of delay on the traffic lights cutting through the middle.

Roadworks at Haydock Island

Roadworks at Haydock Island

Motorists faced five months of delays back in early 2015 while the junction was re-configured allowing drivers coming from the East Lancs to cut through the centre of the roundabout to turn onto the M6 or the A49 Lodge Lane.

Figures obtained from a recent FOI report show that from January to December 2014, Merseyside Police attended only seven crashes at the junction.

Just two years later, in 2016, police attended 19 crashes in a 12-month period.

An Ashton resident who uses the junction on his commute to Warrington, said: “How many crashes does there have to be before somebody realises that Haydock Island is not safe.

Crawling traffic on the M6 at Haydock Island following two accidents on the motorway

Crawling traffic on the M6 at Haydock Island following two accidents on the motorway

“People who use the junction regularly and have seen the countless crashes and near misses will have by now figured out that Haydock Island has its own Highway Code. Green doesn’t mean go it means you have to wait five seconds and then creep out to check nothing else is coming.

“Nobody is asking for a major re-working of the whole island it’s just the timing of the traffic lights which is all wrong. It’s a small problem with massive consequences and it needs to be sorted now.”

The news comes just a month after a series of crashes. In the first two weeks of November the junction saw three major crashes, each of which resulted in lengthy tailbacks and hours of traffic chaos for commuters.

The dismayed motorist added: “We had to go through months of traffic when the whole island was being reworked for no other reason than a vanity project and now this is what we are left with.”

A spokesman for Highways England said that they have not received any complaints so far

“The traffic lights at Haydock Island use sensors in the road to control the flow of traffic at the roundabout,” they said. “The junction is used by tens of thousands of drivers every day and we urge road users to pay extra attention when approaching the traffic lights on the roundabout.”