GALLERY: Traffic chaos in Wisbech as CCTV pin points up to 50 vehicles in first day ignoring new one way traffic flow
- Credit: Archant
A revised one-way system introduced in Wisbech yesterday (Thu) is causing mayhem, according to a shop owner who said CCTV spotted at least 50 vehicles travelling in the wrong direction.
Ray Wicks, the town’s postmaster and owner of Etcetera, said: “It’s an absolute farce. “Lorries are driving into town, can’t get any further and are having to turn round but are then confronted by other vehicles also coming the wrong way.”
The market square changes were introduced after an experimental two year system was amended by Cambridgeshire County Council.
However, years of habit has not deterred local motorists, who have continued to drive the wrong way and are quite simply ignoring the road markings and signs.
Mr Wicks said: “Delivery drivers don’t know what to do. It’s just chaos.
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“People are getting annoyed, some come round the corner at a fair speed into the path of vehicles coming the wrong way head on, and it won’t be long before there’s an accident there.
“There are big yellow signs up, the standard no entry red and white signs and there are road markings with arrows pointing in the direction that drivers should be going.
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“People are quite simply ignoring it all.”
Changes to the traffic flows around Wisbech Market Place were made after the county council said in a report that they had: “learnt lessons and listened”.
Matthew Pickering, the county council’s project manager, said: “We have learnt lessons and listened to comments from local people and we are therefore making some changes.”
Biggest change is the reversal of the one way system on the south side of the market place. This now goes from east to west.
“This change impacts the High Street which will now become a one way street, from north to south,” he said.
Previously the High Street was two way, other than on market days when it became one way southbound.
Mr Pickering said that Little Church Street one way system is also reversing which will enable people to drive away from the Market Place when the bollards are raised. Otherwise motorists would have to ‘U’ turn to head back to Church Terrace.
The second change is the creation of two new disabled bays and five new loading bays.
Mr Pickering said that changing the one way systems has created additional areas where new bays can be installed and not affect traffic flows or create obstructions. “We’ve also reviewed some of the old bays and managed to design in improvements,” he said. “We’ve extended the time of disabled bays from two hours to three. This will bring the bays in line with the blue badge scheme.”
Wisbech Town Council took to social media to warn of the changes posting photos throughout of the new road layout and no entry signs. The town council said police and Fenland Council officers were in town advising drivers.
A county council spokesman said: ““We have been working for some time with the local council and businesses to make people aware of the changes which have been made to the one way system in Wisbech.
“We understand some people might be uncertain of the changes however there is new signage in place to guide drivers around the town centre.
“We believe that the changes should make a real difference to the traffic in Wisbech but would urge people to drive with care as they get used to the new layout.”