I do enjoy writing a funny and uplifting column, but nice in a while it's nice to have a good old rant. This week, I am just fuming about the mini roundabout on Commercial Road , Shepton Mallet.
A fortnight ago my husband and young son were almost hit by an AUDI which sped right across the roundabout and smashed straight into the wall. We were all very shaken up, by the experience. I used to walk my younger child that way, down to the infant school of Waterloo road. Over the past 3 years I've witnessed dozens of near misses, and the safety barriers are being bent, broken and replaced almost every other week it seems!
Trying to cross, from any angle, as a pedestrian- is like playing Russian roulette.
The 'accident hotspot' is often a hot topic of debate on the community facebook group. Opinions are split between whether the design of the sightly off-centre mini round-abo0ut is the cause of all the crashes or drivers not paying attention, or not understanding how to use it.
“People driving North up Old Market Road often perceive that somehow they have a straight through right of way and those coming into town from Commercial Road have to give way. However on a mini your right of way applies only once you're on the roundabout not before. Everyone from every direction should approach a mini with caution and be prepared to give way. You can't just come charging up to a mini and expect to zoom straight across at the same speed.” says Robert Goodhand
Child minder , Deanne Hood commented “I walk past that roundabout twice a day for the school runs . There are near misses almost every time! ” Another local , Emma, says
“It's the Worst roundabout I've ever come across in my 32 years of driving.”
My husband says it more about the drivers, and Shepton has some of the worse he's seen. Local ex driving instructor, Pete Burrett agrees -
“It is amazing just how many drivers deliberately drive straight over mini roundabouts or worse, cut them out completely. It used to be a serious fault on a test and result in a failure. Shepton drivers seem particularly bad with the mini roundabouts! “
Local mum, Sally Langley wrote
“We had an accident there in September. A woman driver from Bristol ,said she didn't realise it was a roundabout!! My kids call it crash corner now!”
Luckily, the council are apparently well aware of the problem , and it seems like there is a plan to fix the potential death trap. Councillor John Parham made the following statement;
“There is a redesign of Commercial Road Roundabout on the way, the first draft of plans look pretty good, public consultation will be the next step.” Whether a re-design, CCTV cameras or clearer signs and markings are the solution – I just hope it's done as a matter of urgency.
I'm a 43 year old, mum of two little boys- currently living in Shepton Mallet in Somerset. I'm the Founder and Creative Director of Radio Shepton, a Stand up and comedian and spoken word performer, and write a regular column for The Wells and Shepton Mallet Journal. Which is the basis for my blog usually. I lived in Swedish Lapland for 7 years until 2014 where my boys were born. My partner and I ran a husky dog sledding business. Before that I was a poet, radio presenter, media lecturer, writer, TV producer, actress and burlesque performer ! I never want my life to be boring :)