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Traffic backing up

Reported via mobile in the Traffic lights (NH) category anonymously at 22:35, Fri 23 July 2021

Sent to National Highways less than a minute later

The lights at Kemplay Bank Roundabout are not set right. Can they be upgraded to smart lights that can read the traffic conditions. Lights turn green to bring traffic onto the roundabout, but the lights on the roundabout are red. There are many long and large wagons trying to get to Gilwilly Ind Est,, A66 or M6 and they clog up the roundabout. Some times of day, it is fine, hence why I suggest Smart traffic lights. I have spent 45mins to 1hr today getting across Penrith. When it’s quiet, I can do it in a few mins. Penrith is now a major lorry and car interchange and needs to be treated as such.

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  • Thank you for contacting us with regards to issues with congestion and queuing traffic around the Skirsgill Interchange and Kemplay Bank roundabout in Penrith.

    We are aware of consistently reoccurring traffic issues in and around Penrith especially throughout the summer months, which aren’t caused by any one particular fault, but the amount of traffic passing through the area. The situation is exacerbated when drivers become impatient and jump the red lights or if there are a lot of heavy goods vehicles on the roundabout. As the lights turn to amber the last few vehicles don’t come to a stop, this means that when they join the queue at the next set of lights they are blocking the exit points for traffic already on the roundabout and the entry points for those waiting to join. When the area is busy this causes grid lock.

    The roundabouts are designed to accommodate full-time traffic lights. The current full-time arrangement smooths the movement of traffic through the junction throughout the day, while providing enough time for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the various roads under the protection of a red signal. The traffic light system is intended to detect the amount of traffic on each of the approach roads, and automatically adjust the amount of ‘green time’ to each to make sure the junction operates efficiently. There may be scope to refine the operation of these traffic lights further, and we will investigate this to ensure they are running optimally. We also need to consider the safety of motorists using the roundabout. There is a risk that part-time traffic lights can be confusing to motorists, as they are not always aware if they are switched on. This is backed up by studies that have shown that part-time traffic lights at roundabouts lead to a slightly lower accident rate while the signals are operating, but the accident rate can rise significantly when they are switched off.

    The A66 Northern Trans-Pennine Project will impact the operation of Skirsgill Interchange and Kemplay Bank. The improvement works will reduce delays and queues during busy periods and improve the performance of key junctions such as the A66/A6 and the M6 Junction 40. More information on this project can be found on our webpage - our-work/ a66-northern-trans-pennine/ .

    State changed to: Closed

    Posted anonymously at 12:27, Fri 30 July 2021

This report is now closed to updates. You can make a new report in the same location.