Good idea to switch off

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While listening to a local radio station it mentioned that there is to be a trial of getting rid of traffic lights on roundabouts as apparently they cost the economy some £12billion.

This got me thinking. Near where I live, the main thoroughfare is Chester Road. For several months as I travelled down to Sunderland on the old charabanc, you would approach the Chester Road/A19 roundabout and, apart from two sets of week nights, when Old Penshaw was cut off from the rest of the world so to speak, you could sail through the various junctions with not a queue in sight anywhere.

How, you may ask? For in the time that the road works were going on, the ‘temporary traffic lights’ were switched off.

It was a delight to not sit in a queue staring at the rear of the vehicle in front. For those few precious months every vehicle on every junction smoothly flowed through to their appropriate journey’s end.

I then noticed that the new traffic lights were now in situ but thankfully not lit up. Then one day when I was sat on ye olde charabanc going past the Hastings Hill public house and as we climbed to the A19 roundabout the traffic came to a standstill for the first time in about three months. Yes, the lights were back on and I have since found out that the ‘temporary traffic lights’ as advertised, are now full-time.

Now there is a small queue of two or three vehicles at night while no traffic passes in front of you.

I do hope they decide to trial in Sunderland. Although, saying that the Holborn Road/Broadway roundabout still leaves a lot to desire.

Alan ‘The Quill’ Vincent,

Old Penshaw