ALTERATIONS to the controversial new ‘Wing Wah roundabout’ on one of the main routes in and out of the Coventry could be completed by September, a leading councillor says.
But Jayne Innes, the new cabinet member for city services, told the Observer the public should not expect any changes which might involve ‘digging up roads’.
The Labour councillor for Whoberley, one of four wards most affected by the A45/Broad Lane roundabout where the high-profile landmark Wing Wah Chinese restaurant is situated has said the first thing she did in her new cabinet post since May was to order an independent survey of the junction.
Despite public concern and a number of accidents since the £1million changes to the junction last year, she says the survey concluded the new junction was safe.
Concerned motorists and pedestrians have said the junction, its traffic lights and lanes are confusing, while council officers have blamed ‘driver error’ for accidents.
Coun Innes said: “The survey concluded the junction is safe. If they decided it wasn’t safe, I would be moving an awful lot faster.
It’s about winning back public confidence and getting people to feel more confident. We want to explain what we’re doing and options will now be examined.
“It’s not going to be a long piece of work. It’s not going to involve digging up the roads,” said said, adding there would be no return to the previous traffic-light controlled design which she said led to tailbacks and displaced traffic onto other city roads at peak times.
Coun Innes added: “As a ward councillor for one of the four wards it covers, I’ve been listening to residents’ concerns for a year. I’ve not just been lobbied for changes. Others feel the junction works.”
She added she sought the independent survey because it ‘would not have been appropriate’ for the council to review its ‘own work’ after building the island.
Council officers will now review options for alternations which she estimates could be completed by the autumn, as early as September.
She said it was unlikely to go to a formal cabinet member meeting or cabinet meeting, because it would not involve a major structural overhaul.
Last year’s overhaul of the junction was paid for by housing developers of the Bannerbrook estate in Tile Hill.