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PHOTOS: This 'roundabout' is confusing drivers in Bodmin...

bodmin

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 10:56am 11th May 2018. (Updated at 2:03pm 11th May 2018)

A 'roundabout' in Bodmin has been put up for a major engineering award, despite drivers dubbing it 'confusing'.

Those working nearby say they have seen several near misses since it opened.

They think it could be down to the fact that it isn't a roundabout at all but instead a 'low speed environment'.

low speed environment

However, the section in the Church Square area of the town has now been nominated for an award with the Institution of Civil Engineers.

It comes after the scheme won the Environment Award from the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation earlier this year, too.

Part of the project to 'Build a better Bodmin', bosses say it is a 'fantastic recognition' of the engineering that went into the scheme.

However, locals in the town claim it is causing more problems than ever.

Tom, from children's clothes shop Munchkins, said: "It's certainly changed Bodmin but not possibly for the better. There has been several near misses on there and I witnessed two in the last few days.

"It is more confusing because nobody knows whether it is a roundabout or not a roundabout.

"It's supposed to be a shared space or low speed environment, but not a lot of people know that, especially if they are visiting the area".

Others argue that signage leading up to the section does not indicate how to use it, which has led people to wonder who has priority.

low speed environment

Nicki, who works in a nearby shop, said: "I don't know that it was money well spent, I don't see it as being a productive or lucrative thing for the town.

"It hasn't really improved trade anywhere and footfall is lower than it has ever been, I think.

"I don't think the signage they've put around town is adequate.

"Nobody really knows what they are supposed to be doing - it was put through planning as one aspect and is now a different aspect.

"Unless you're in a helicopter looking down on it, you can't really see how lovely it looks".

However, officials tell Pirate FM the decision to create a low-speed environment was based on consultations in the town which indicated people wanted drivers to slow down.

In the nomination, Cornwall Council has described the design as 'innovative' and that the removal of road signs and markings introduces a 'driver active thinking' element, meaning they need to be more careful and courteous of other vehicles and people crossing the road.

It replaces what was previously marked as a mini roundabout, with the aim to lower speeds and create a smoother traffic flow, without the previous stop/start platooning effect of traffic.

Now Cornwall Council cabinet member for transport Geoff Brown says that the nomination for the Institution of Civil Engineers South West award for 'Over £3m Re-engineering' follows extensive reconstruction of the road network and will help regeneration in Bodmin.

He said: "This nomination is fantastic recognition for all involved in the Building a better Bodmin project - including Cormac's design and engineering teams who developed and built the scheme, as well as our transportation team who worked with the local community to produce a vision for the town and gain funding for the work.

"I'm delighted that the project is receiving recognition from respected industry bodies - in February our work at Church Square won the Environment Award from the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation.

"During various consultations that took place in Bodmin over several years, one common theme emerged - people wanted motorists to slow down and they also wanted to feel safe when cycling or crossing the road.

"Our investment in Bodmin aimed to address these concerns and also provide a catalyst for the regeneration of a town which is at the heart of three of the country's most popular cycling routes.

"This project required extensive reconstruction of the road network around the town centre in particular, and once again I'd like to thank the local community for their patience during the construction period."

A spokesperson for Cornwall Council added: "It isn't a roundabout, it's an unmarked junction and we advocate that motorists do as they would at any other unmarked junction where no driver has signed priority over another - or any other time that they are behind the wheel for that matter - that they drive with due care and attention.

"The aim of the low speed environment is to encourage all road users to slow down and consider one another.

"During various consultations that took place in Bodmin over several years, one common theme emerged - people wanted motorists to slow down and they also wanted to feel safe when cycling or crossing the road".

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