UPDATED: Council responds to traffic expert’s fears over new Aylesbury lights

The new Tring Road lights
The new Tring Road lights

New traffic lights in Tring Road are ‘downright dangerous’, a former traffic systems engineer has said.

David Allen said ‘conflicting greens’ appearing to allow drivers to turn right into Oakfield Road from Tring Road at the same time as drivers are leaving town along the A41 could result in accidents.

Bucks County Council said the phasing in place is widely used and drivers should feel confident when using the junction.

Mr Allen, who worked for GEC Traffic Automation, said: “The sequencing and inadequate phasing of these lights are downright dangerous.

“At the start of one phase there is no clear control of traffic turning right which means there are potentially conflicting greens between those leaving the town on the Tring Road and those coming in towards the town and turning right onto the ring road.

“The up-shot of this means that drivers cannot and must not assume that although they have a green light it is safe to proceed.”

Mr Allen, who now manages the Weston Turville Golf Club, said he had already had a couple of near misses when going through the junction.

He said: “I have not looked to see which company has installed these lights, but surely before they are finally turned on the sequencing/phasing and safety is checked and signed-off by either Bucks County Council or in the case of a major road the Highways Agency, as it was in my experience.

“If these had been checked before commissioning, then why was this potential problem not seen?

“Also in my experience when major changes are made to a junction, advance warning signs are displayed at the roadside to advise drivers to take additional care now that priorities have changed.”

The council said engineers have been at the junction since the lights were switched on, monitoring and adjusting the sequence to ensure they are operating correctly with no conflicting sequences.

A council spokesman said: “The full green phase followed by right turn indicative arrow is widely practiced at signalised junctions.

“This phasing of the lights provides for safe and efficient use of road space.

“The concerns expressed that there are conflicting green phases has not been seen and drivers should feel confident to use the junction.”

The lights will be monitored and adjusted over the next few days and this will be followed by an independent safety audit to check and review their operation to confirm the safety of the junction.

The council said: “The traffic signals and new junction layout has been designed to current DfT standards and subjected to detailed investigation by Bucks County Council engineers and designers employed by Arla.

“The signals do not operate on a fixed sequence but are able to adapt to the actual traffic on each arm of the junction.

“The sequence uses the information about the queue lengths at each arm of the junction and will ‘learn’ the likely traffic levels and adapt the sequences to manage the traffic flows effectively throughout the day.”

The works have been done to make it easier for Arla lorries to travel through Aylesbury.

Arla has said an average of 20 lorries will access its Aston Clinton site every hour, but has promised that a maximum of four lorries will travel through the town between 7.30am and 8.30am.