I HAVE been a truck driver for more than 40 years and have seen many changes on many roads throughout the country and I can see, as the full horror of the St Mary’s intersection unfolds, that it is going to be an unmitigated disaster.

One would expect that as each segment is completed there would be a gradual reduction in traffic delays.

The reality, however, is the opposite, the nearer to completion the longer delays are becoming, and this is at a time when traffic volumes should be at their lowest.

The only problem with St Mary’s roundabout was that it was too efficient, it rushed the traffic from the west and north down to Coppins Bridge, which was continuously inundated with large volumes of traffic. The traffic light system was unable to cope and frequent gridlock occurred.

I, and many others, believe St Mary’s intersection is being constructed to slow the volume of traffic to Coppins Bridge to alleviate that problem.

It can already been seen that this is what is happening, as at no time now are there more than a dozen or so vehicles in each lane waiting to access the bridge.

This is, however, going to create a much bigger problem for traffic converging on St Mary’s from any direction.

With so many traffic lights in such a small area, it is inevitable that tailbacks from each intersection will prevent the free flow of traffic and even when completed, congestion will still continue at the level it is at now.

By not having the pedestrian crossings phased with the main lights it only takes one extended digit to stop the traffic flow for 40 seconds.

This is particularly evident at the end of Forest Road, where no traffic can exit as the pedestrian lights change and even though the junction lights are green, nothing can move for the entire length of the pedestrian green light phase.

It is also obvious the filter lane for Cowes is too close to the main junction to allow it to be effective in the traffic flow.

The lights at the industrial estate intersection mean that traffic is constantly backed up across the main lights, stopping traffic flow. Out of sheer frustration motorists are filling the yellow boxes, exacerbating the situation.

Only when it is finally finished and fully operational will the full extent of its impact be felt.

I think the County Press will be inundated with mail, and complaints about the floating bridge fiasco will pale into insignificance by comparison.

One final thought — what happens when the lights fail? — and they will!

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