Road safety hazards highlighted in Florida Farm North audit

A stage 3 road safety audit was carried out around Haydock Lane
A stage 3 road safety audit was carried out around Haydock Lane

A number of hazards highlighted in a road safety audit of the Florida Farm North scheme in Haydock are still to be rectified .

A stage 3 road safety audit was carried out around Haydock Lane by TMS Consultancy on behalf of Hydrock, the principal designer of the M6 Major scheme, in November.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service has obtained a copy of the audit, which was published shortly after the inspection and was not made publicly available.

A total of 14 recommendations were made in the audit, although only half have been completed or are in the process of being completed.

One of the issues that has yet to be rectified is with the splitter islands part of the junction involving the location of the ‘keep left’ bollards.

The bollards are located centrally within the splitter islands rather than towards the carriageway to which they are pointing and are not visible from all required approaches.

The report said this increases the risk of road users turning the wrong side of the islands and increases the risk of head-on type collisions occurring.

Hydrock said it is currently awaiting new signs to rectify this hazard.

Another issue involves several signs that are masked by foliage, including a self-seeded tree, along the southern arm of Haydock Lane, towards the approach to the junction.

The audit said motorists may not notice the obscured signs and fail to adhere to their warnings and regulation, increasing the risk of collisions occurring.

Additionally, numerous safety issues relating to pedestrians and cyclists were raised in the report.

The audit said that throughout the scheme, many of the controlled crossings did not appear to give “adequate” green time for pedestrians or cyclists to cross the carriageway.

Many of the crossings automatically cancelled the push button calls at the crossing points, the audit said.

On one occasion, the assessor noted that this happened at a crossing despite there being four pedestrians waiting at the edge of the crossings.

This could increase the risk of pedestrians or cyclists being hit by motorists, the audit said. This has now been rectified.

A number of trip hazards for pedestrians was highlighted, including an incomplete footway/cycleway between the northern arm junction of Haydock Lane. This has since been completed.

St Helens Council said it is the responsibility of the developer, Bericote, and the principal contractor, in conjunction with their principal designer, to action the recommendations or to devise alternative solutions.

A Hydrock spokesman said: “The developer and principal contractor are in receipt of the stage 3 road safety audit and in conjunction with ourselves, Hydrock, who are the principal designer are responsible to action the recommendations stated or provide alternative solutions to the items raised in order to achieve the same objectives.

“You will note there are a number of items raised within the audit and to date seven have been completed or are in the process of being completed by the contractor.

“There are a further four items that require extensive traffic management or additional equipment that is currently on order and we are awaiting delivery to site, once the equipment is received the outstanding items will be addressed.

“Three further items require either monitoring through the maintenance period or notice serving by the local authority on adjacent landowners.”

A council spokesman said it continue to work with Bericote to facilitate any works required as a result of the recommendations contained in the road safety audit.

Bericote were approached for comment.