TALKS are being held into plans to revoke the ban on left turns at the Whitley Bridge.
Vehicles exiting the city-bound A444 at the Whitley Bridge junction can currently only turn right at the top of the slip road, leading towards the Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) site.
However, councillors are considering changing the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) to allow cars to turn left and right at the junction in order to ‘formalise the current situation and improve capacity and safety for users of this junction’.
At the cabinet meeting, chaired by Coun Jayne Innes, councillors heard how additional signage has not prevented numerous drivers from undertaking illegal left turns at the junction.
As such, the cabinet was recommended to revoke the TRO and allow vehicles to turn in both directions at the junction – a move which could come into effect as early as next month.
However, a number of objections to the plans were also heard.
One argued that just because some drivers were ignoring the existing order, ‘either through blantant disregard or inattention to road signs’, the road should not be changed.
Another accused the council of taking the ‘line of least resistance’ while another objector raised concerns about the safety of pedestrians and cyclists at the junction.
As a result, Coun Innes delayed a decision into the turning until the new year to allow for further investigation into the site could be undertaken.
She said: “We had two very good presentations from concerned residents and from a JLR representative about the junction.
“The reason we did not want to put in the left hand turn initially was to prevent people from leaving the A444 in a traffic jam, and using the turning as a rat run to to join the queue further up.
“However, after looking at camera footage people are not using the turning to do that – instead they are using it to get onto the Daventry Road and to access the city.
“Like all new junctions we have to look at how it is working and periodically review it.
“So now we are wondering whether modifying the road to make a left hand turn legal is better than having people making the turn illegally.
“The conversation is very much ongoing, so I wouldn’t like to say which was the decision is going to go.
“But if we do uphold the TRO then we will have to work very closely with the police to enforce the turning.”