Pontefract: Roundabouts back as traffic lights scrapped

Town End traffic lights, Pontefract.

Town End traffic lights, Pontefract.

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A CONTROVERSIAL road junction which has caused traffic misery for more than a decade is to be scrapped - and put back the way it was 15 years ago.

In 1996, multiple sets of traffic lights were installed to replace two mini roundabouts at Town End Junction in Pontefract.

A review last year found the new junction was responsible for causing some of the worst traffic congestion anywhere in Wakefield district.

Now Wakefield Council says traffic lights at the junction will be scrapped, and two roundabouts re-introduced.

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire winner Steve Kidd, of Pontefract, waged a lengthy campaign to get the junction changed.

Mr Kidd, who won £250,000 on the TV game show in 2004, planned to spend £10,000 of his winnings to stand as an MP at the last General Election to fight on the single issue of Town End Junction.

But he ditched the idea after council chiefs finally agreed to make changes to the junction.

Mr Kidd, 52, who has a university degree in transport planning, said: “There is no silver bullet to solve the congestion problem. But I would anticipate the new traffic system will mean a reduction in casualties in Pontefract in general and I would anticipate shorter and smoother journeys for residents.”

The Council held a string of public engagement events last November, which showcased six alternative layouts including a large single roundabout and double roundabouts.

A council spokeswoman said: “Highway officers have now completed their assessment of the feedback from the events, which show that a new double roundabout is the preferred choice of the public.”

The next stage will be to prepare detailed designs and costs for the new layout.

mark.lavery@ypn.co.uk

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