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Opinion : Is this road junction one of the most dangerous in High Wycombe?

| August 8, 2019

Improvements are supposed to make things better, however sometimes that’s not always the case in High Wycombe.

Take for example the new redesigned road layout in Queen Victoria Road with the junction of the High Street, Easton Street and Crendon Street.

Until recently the three lanes of one way traffic in Queen Victoria Road (driving towards Amersham Hill) were as follows :

  • Left lane : To the town centre.
  • Middle lane : To Crendon Street (A404).
  • Right lane : To Easton Street.

However a few weeks ago the road was reconfigured to allow for two way operation. As can be seen in the picture above, the three lanes are now as follows :

  • Left lane : Left to the town centre and straight on to Crendon Street (A404).
  • Middle lane : Straight on to Crendon Street (A404).
  • Right lane : Traffic coming from Crendon Street to Abbey Way in the opposite direction.

Many times since its recent redesign, while on my regular lunchtime walk around Wycombe town centre, my good self has stood and observed the traffic flowing at this junction.

Yours truly has lost count of the number of times the sound of car horns has filled the air when two vehicles coming from Queen Victoria Road in the left and middle lanes try to go up Crendon Street at the same time. Two into one just doesn’t go and if a driver doesn’t give way then chaos erupts.

With the traffic lights at green, vehicles in both lanes are likely to be travelling at 30mph across the junction. Just before the traffic lights the road markings seem to make it clear there are two lanes of traffic flowing up Crendon Street, however just a few feet later it will become clear there is just one lane. Sadly there is not the minimum stopping distance of 75ft before drivers realise the possibility of an impending collision.

Before the junction was redesigned the road markings were many yards before the junction, almost level with the entrance to the old Library building giving drivers plenty of warning and time to react.

Now the only thing alerting motorists to give way to a vehicle in the other lane is a decrepit portable ‘Merge in Turn’ sign with bent legs that is held down with two sandbags (shown below).

Considering the millions spent on the recent road configuration works surely the budget could have stretched to a proper road sign on a pole?

What happens if some of the drunken yobbos that frequent the town centre on a Friday and Saturday night decide to ‘move’ the temporary sign?

Indeed yours truly has been made aware that among the betting fraternity in Wycombe a ‘book’ has already been started on how long it will be before an accident occurs and a vehicle smashes through the front window of the estate agents to the left of Crendon Street.

In my opinion the three lanes should be remarked as follows :

  • Left lane : Left to the town centre only.
  • Middle lane : To Crendon Street (A404) only.
  • Right lane : Traffic coming from Crendon Street to Abbey Way in the opposite direction.

In my opinion the ‘Masterplan’ was one of the worst things to happen to Wycombe in recent years and the ‘Masterplanning’ of Queen Victoria Road is a perfect example of poor design, poor road layout and a general waste of money.

Sadly it seems ruining the roads in the town centre was not enough and soon London Road will also face a similar fate of being ‘improved’.

What do you think?

My blogs are published regularly here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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