Lights 'tweaked' after service station tailbacks
HIGHWAYS chiefs have tweaked lights on Portishead's motorway roundabout after they caused long delays getting in and out of the service station.
North Somerset Council, working with the Highways Agency, changed the timing of the lights following complaints from Gordano Services.
Bosses at the motorway service station contacted the council and Highways Agency as timing of the lights caused problems with people trying leave, causing tailbacks to form back to the entrance of the services.
At peak times during the Easter break – when around 9,000 vehicles visit the site between 7am and 4pm – motorists were waiting up to 40 minutes to get back onto the M5 for their onward journey.
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Some frustrated motorists stuck in the traffic queues used mobile phones to ring services staff to see what was causing the hold ups. The volume of traffic trying to get into and out of the services even caused traffic to tail back on the motorway slipway road.
Site director Kevin Bellamy raised the issue over Easter, days after the new traffic lights were turned on.
Mr Bellamy said: "Because of the timing of the lights, not enough vehicles could exit the site which was causing traffic to tail back right around the site to the entrance.
"At one point we had motorists waiting for between 30 and 40 minutes to get off the site."
Mr Bellamy has been pressing North Somerset and the Highways Agency to look again at the lights and on the Friday before the August Bank Holiday, changes were made to the lights on the A369 at the Portbury junction and Martcombe Road.
The original scheme to remodel the roundabout at the Portishead junction of the motorway has largely been seen as a success, cutting queues.
North Somerset Council spokesman Nick Yates said: "We've monitored the situation over the summer and, in liaison with the Highways Agency, made some slight changes to ease the flow of traffic from the services back onto the roundabout."