MPs back campaign to turn off Bristol traffic lights
MPs across the greater Bristol area are supporting our call to cut the number of traffic lights.
Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs were united in calling for action to be taken, with many of them enduring the same frustrations as drivers on the worst-affected roads.
Labour whip Kerry McCarthy, Bristol East MP, would get rid of the lights at the Temple Circus roundabout.
She said: "If I drive to my office it takes me longer to negotiate the Temple Circus roundabout than it does to complete the rest of the journey. It's ridiculous.
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"The argument is that it regulates flow but I think it can be counterproductive.
"At peak times there might be a need for it but at night-time there isn't.
"I fully support this campaign."
Bristol South MP Dawn Primarolo also broadly welcomed the campaign.
She said: "The safety of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists has to be absolutely paramount at all times.
"Should there be lights in Bristol which are proved to be unnecessary then of course they should be removed.
"I would also support trialling of some lights being switched off at night, if that can be safely achieved."
Liberal Democrat frontbencher Steve Webb, Northavon MP, said: "This is not just about local councils, it is the Highways Authority too.
"The Falfield lights at Junction 14 of the M5 are notorious. They only work off-peak and are turned off when there are lots of cars because they cause such chaos.
"It cost £1m to install them and most people locally think they are a nonsense.
"If it is demonstrable that lights have been preventing accidents then the Highways Agency should provide that evidence.
"There are lights that have been put in that have helped. I have campaigned for traffic lights on occasion when residents have had problems getting out of side-roads but they have to be evidence-based."
Shadow Business Minister John Penrose, Weston-super-Mare MP, said: "Anyone who has sat fuming at the traffic lights late at night when there is no traffic coming the other way knows how frustrating it can be.
"Anything that lets traffic flow more smoothly without compromising safety has to be a good idea."
Liberal Democrat Stephen Williams, Bristol West MP, said: "I think Bristol gives the impression of being a paradise for traffic lighting engineers."
Roger Berry, Labour MP for Kingswood, said: "I don't think this is a matter of principle, it is a matter of evidence.
"I have come across places were there are too many lights but also places where there are too few.
"I campaigned to get traffic lights at Warmley roundabout on the Avon ring road after being contacted by constituents and they do say traffic flow has improved there.
"This is why we have local councils. They should be making a regular appraisal of the situation."
Doug Naysmith, Bristol North MP, said: "We need a bit more common sense and rationality.
"Traffic lights can be very valuable in some circumstances but they need to be used with care."
Shadow Transport Secretary Theresa Villiers said: "Conservative proposals to open up the decisions made on the phasing and placing of traffic lights would make a real difference to the Bristol Evening Post's campaign.
"We believe there should be no secrecy about why traffic lights are where they are, so local people can have the power to influence the way their roads are run and decide whether individual sets of lights stay or whether they go."
Liam Fox, Tory MP for Woodspring and the Shadow Defence Secretary, was unavailable for comment.
Dan Norris, Labour MP for Wansdyke, was also unavailable.