Faulty traffic lights lead to three accidents in Thamesdown Drive

An aerial view of the junction

An aerial view of the junction

First published in News by

POLICE are urging motorists to drive with extreme care at the turnpike junction between the A419 and Thamesdown Drive due to faulty traffic lights.

Several motorists have contacted the Adver to say they were extremely concerned after three crashes occurred at the spot in just three days.

Cathy Pike, 55, a finance administrator of Haydon End, said: “The lights have been out of action for a week and it is ridiculous, there have been three crashes.

“I phoned the Highways Agency and they said there was a dispute over who was responsible for the lights. They then said it was the responsibility of the council and there was a serious technical fault.

“It’s extremely fortunate that in the week they have been off no one has suffered a serious injury. It is actually safer in the mornings because there is more traffic and everyone has to slow down.”

Rachel Williams, another Adver reader, said by email: “Obviously there is some problem with them that can't be fixed but surely with a three-way junction a temporary set should be put up? “Does someone really need to die before this happens?”

The traffic lights have not been functioning at all, leaving drivers to negotiate the junction with other motorists approaching from different directions.

The accidents include a crash yesterday evening, which led to a driver being taken to Great Western Hospital as a precautionary measure.

The police have been liaising with Swindon Council and the Highways Agency, who say there is a significant and complex problem with the lights.

While work continues to rectify the fault police are urging drivers to slow down, be mindful of the other vehicles and to avoid the route if possible.

Comments (19)

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10:38am Tue 20 Nov 12

I 2 Could B says...

I went through the junction twice last week and it's horrendous.

The junctions in and around that area are some of the very worst - and most dangerously - designed junctions I've ever had the misfortune to drive through.

The only reason they are not complete chaos is due to the traffic lights. With them out of action, it's truly appalling trying to negotiate the junction.

No surprises at all that there have been crashes, wouldn't suprise me in the slightest if somebody ends up dying.
I went through the junction twice last week and it's horrendous. [p] The junctions in and around that area are some of the very worst - and most dangerously - designed junctions I've ever had the misfortune to drive through. [p] The only reason they are not complete chaos is due to the traffic lights. With them out of action, it's truly appalling trying to negotiate the junction. [p] No surprises at all that there have been crashes, wouldn't suprise me in the slightest if somebody ends up dying. I 2 Could B
  • Score: 0

10:40am Tue 20 Nov 12

Al Smith says...

Have Wiltshire Police sent any traffic officers up there at busy times (8-9am, 5-6pm) to help control traffic?

This also highlights the poor design of this junction, it should have been roundabout based like J15 or Commonhead.
Have Wiltshire Police sent any traffic officers up there at busy times (8-9am, 5-6pm) to help control traffic? This also highlights the poor design of this junction, it should have been roundabout based like J15 or Commonhead. Al Smith
  • Score: 0

11:22am Tue 20 Nov 12

Tonyblairisthedevil says...

As usual we have the council and highways agency both saying its not their responsibility..

Luckily most locals know this area.. If someone from out of town came flying down and didnt see any lights i would hate to think what can happen. Its really lucky no one has been seriously injured. Sadly it will probably take this until they pull their finger out..

I dont understand why they cannot work together just to get it fixed. or at least put up temporary ones...
As usual we have the council and highways agency both saying its not their responsibility.. Luckily most locals know this area.. If someone from out of town came flying down and didnt see any lights i would hate to think what can happen. Its really lucky no one has been seriously injured. Sadly it will probably take this until they pull their finger out.. I dont understand why they cannot work together just to get it fixed. or at least put up temporary ones... Tonyblairisthedevil
  • Score: 0

11:30am Tue 20 Nov 12

Somebody, Somewhere says...

I use this junction at vaious times of the day coming off the A419. No matter what time of day I have come through it is lethal. Especially true if you are turning right to head towards blunsdon stadium as you have to have many sets of eyes and just hope everybody is switched on and on the lookout.

Serious injuries and lawsuits just waiting to happen!
I use this junction at vaious times of the day coming off the A419. No matter what time of day I have come through it is lethal. Especially true if you are turning right to head towards blunsdon stadium as you have to have many sets of eyes and just hope everybody is switched on and on the lookout. Serious injuries and lawsuits just waiting to happen! Somebody, Somewhere
  • Score: 0

12:16pm Tue 20 Nov 12

plron1 says...

I've called the Council, Highways Agency & Police. Council says its the Highways Agency's responsibility. Highways Agency says the road has been de-trunked and its the Council's responsibility, in the mean time the safety of drivers is being put at risk. Does it take a fatality before someone will sort out the problem or at least make the junction safe.
I've called the Council, Highways Agency & Police. Council says its the Highways Agency's responsibility. Highways Agency says the road has been de-trunked and its the Council's responsibility, in the mean time the safety of drivers is being put at risk. Does it take a fatality before someone will sort out the problem or at least make the junction safe. plron1
  • Score: 0

12:32pm Tue 20 Nov 12

rugbyplayer1234 says...

Living in Swindon we are used to having to negotiate some of the worst planned and laid out junctions , roundabouts and lights that this country has to offer. Whilst this issue is utterly ridiculous and should be rectified ASAP by somebody if people drive with care and follow the basics of driving ie give way to the right ... Then there will be no accidents at all.
Living in Swindon we are used to having to negotiate some of the worst planned and laid out junctions , roundabouts and lights that this country has to offer. Whilst this issue is utterly ridiculous and should be rectified ASAP by somebody if people drive with care and follow the basics of driving ie give way to the right ... Then there will be no accidents at all. rugbyplayer1234
  • Score: 0

12:41pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Captain T says...

Can't believe that the council and highways agency are playing the blame game rather than sorting the issue out. This is clearly a highly dangerous junction without lights and given we're in winter when the mornings and afternoons are dark, this is inviting a tragic accident. Get the highways agency to pull their finger out of their backside and fix the lights. If it isn't their problem to deal with then bill the council after but for goodness sake don't wait around until a serious incident occurs. I'm only surprised that the police haven't been manually controlling the traffic in the short term until the lights are back on.
Can't believe that the council and highways agency are playing the blame game rather than sorting the issue out. This is clearly a highly dangerous junction without lights and given we're in winter when the mornings and afternoons are dark, this is inviting a tragic accident. Get the highways agency to pull their finger out of their backside and fix the lights. If it isn't their problem to deal with then bill the council after but for goodness sake don't wait around until a serious incident occurs. I'm only surprised that the police haven't been manually controlling the traffic in the short term until the lights are back on. Captain T
  • Score: 0

12:43pm Tue 20 Nov 12

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

With the lights working the junction works fine. It could have been even better, but it works. A flyover would have been best, but it is better than the original roundabout which had traffic queuing significantly in all directions.

Agree with the others that without the lights it is chaos and dangerous. The police should be there during peak times ensuring traffic flow is safe.

However some additional points are:
* 40MPH speed limits in all directions through the junction!
* It is still a junction with road markings and signs and standard rules of the road apply.

If people are obeying the speed limits and looking, there should be plenty of room between the intersect points and visibility is good that accidents shouldn't be happening.


As already said, there is no reason why temporary lights can't be installed until the muppets in both highways and the council sort their act out.
With the lights working the junction works fine. It could have been even better, but it works. A flyover would have been best, but it is better than the original roundabout which had traffic queuing significantly in all directions. Agree with the others that without the lights it is chaos and dangerous. The police should be there during peak times ensuring traffic flow is safe. However some additional points are: * 40MPH speed limits in all directions through the junction! * It is still a junction with road markings and signs and standard rules of the road apply. If people are obeying the speed limits and looking, there should be plenty of room between the intersect points and visibility is good that accidents shouldn't be happening. As already said, there is no reason why temporary lights can't be installed until the muppets in both highways and the council sort their act out. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 0

2:02pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Davey Gravey says...

A clear case of a junction that is completely useless and dangerous when the lights don't work. Why it was designed like that i'll never know. People not familiar with it get in all sorts of trouble even when the lights are on. Drivers need to be treated as idiots and everything made as simply as possible to avoid accidents
A clear case of a junction that is completely useless and dangerous when the lights don't work. Why it was designed like that i'll never know. People not familiar with it get in all sorts of trouble even when the lights are on. Drivers need to be treated as idiots and everything made as simply as possible to avoid accidents Davey Gravey
  • Score: 0

5:52pm Tue 20 Nov 12

choccie says...

Captain T wrote:
Can't believe that the council and highways agency are playing the blame game rather than sorting the issue out. This is clearly a highly dangerous junction without lights and given we're in winter when the mornings and afternoons are dark, this is inviting a tragic accident. Get the highways agency to pull their finger out of their backside and fix the lights. If it isn't their problem to deal with then bill the council after but for goodness sake don't wait around until a serious incident occurs. I'm only surprised that the police haven't been manually controlling the traffic in the short term until the lights are back on.
Surely for the sake everyone somebody should take responsibility and sort the bill out later.
[quote][p][bold]Captain T[/bold] wrote: Can't believe that the council and highways agency are playing the blame game rather than sorting the issue out. This is clearly a highly dangerous junction without lights and given we're in winter when the mornings and afternoons are dark, this is inviting a tragic accident. Get the highways agency to pull their finger out of their backside and fix the lights. If it isn't their problem to deal with then bill the council after but for goodness sake don't wait around until a serious incident occurs. I'm only surprised that the police haven't been manually controlling the traffic in the short term until the lights are back on.[/p][/quote]Surely for the sake everyone somebody should take responsibility and sort the bill out later. choccie
  • Score: 0

6:44pm Tue 20 Nov 12

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

There were some contractors out fixing the lights around 5pm.
There were some contractors out fixing the lights around 5pm. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 0

10:28pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Moth says...

Captain T wrote:
Can't believe that the council and highways agency are playing the blame game rather than sorting the issue out. This is clearly a highly dangerous junction without lights and given we're in winter when the mornings and afternoons are dark, this is inviting a tragic accident. Get the highways agency to pull their finger out of their backside and fix the lights. If it isn't their problem to deal with then bill the council after but for goodness sake don't wait around until a serious incident occurs. I'm only surprised that the police haven't been manually controlling the traffic in the short term until the lights are back on.
I drove through this junction on Sunday. Saw the lights weren't working and treated it as a normal junction i.e. gave way to oncoming traffic from the right - and kept my eyes open!

What I did notice was there were no warning signs further back the the lights were out of order - only notices on the lights themselves so you were quite close to the lights before you realised they weren't working.

Just take care, keep your eyes open and treat the junction like any other - give way or stop.

As for the police manually controlling the traffic, I can't remember when last I saw a bobby on points duty.
[quote][p][bold]Captain T[/bold] wrote: Can't believe that the council and highways agency are playing the blame game rather than sorting the issue out. This is clearly a highly dangerous junction without lights and given we're in winter when the mornings and afternoons are dark, this is inviting a tragic accident. Get the highways agency to pull their finger out of their backside and fix the lights. If it isn't their problem to deal with then bill the council after but for goodness sake don't wait around until a serious incident occurs. I'm only surprised that the police haven't been manually controlling the traffic in the short term until the lights are back on.[/p][/quote]I drove through this junction on Sunday. Saw the lights weren't working and treated it as a normal junction i.e. gave way to oncoming traffic from the right - and kept my eyes open! What I did notice was there were no warning signs further back the the lights were out of order - only notices on the lights themselves so you were quite close to the lights before you realised they weren't working. Just take care, keep your eyes open and treat the junction like any other - give way or stop. As for the police manually controlling the traffic, I can't remember when last I saw a bobby on points duty. Moth
  • Score: 0

10:43pm Tue 20 Nov 12

batch says...

How the bloody hell have they been faulty without repair for a week.

This is a major junction and its not the time to play "its their fault". In my opinion that's negligent.
How the bloody hell have they been faulty without repair for a week. This is a major junction and its not the time to play "its their fault". In my opinion that's negligent. batch
  • Score: 0

7:31am Wed 21 Nov 12

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

Temporary traffic lights up this morning.
Temporary traffic lights up this morning. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 0

8:26am Wed 21 Nov 12

gina948 says...

As another reader has commented, the warning signs for this were terrible. You were on the junction before you realised the lights were out. People drive on autopilot so when somethings not as it should be their reactions are delayed which causes so many problems.
Its absolutely scandalous that temporary fixtures have taken this long.
As another reader has commented, the warning signs for this were terrible. You were on the junction before you realised the lights were out. People drive on autopilot so when somethings not as it should be their reactions are delayed which causes so many problems. Its absolutely scandalous that temporary fixtures have taken this long. gina948
  • Score: 0

8:39am Wed 21 Nov 12

TinkeyWinkey says...

Despite the A419 & this junction running through Swindon, it's not SBC responsibility, likewise neither is the M4 that runs past Swindon and the 2 Junctions off of it = Highways Agency.


Saying that though, Temporary Lights should of been put up there last week for safety reasons, whether that be by the Council, HA or even the Police. time afterwards to sort out fixing them by the people that own them and not put people's lives at risk.
Despite the A419 & this junction running through Swindon, it's not SBC responsibility, likewise neither is the M4 that runs past Swindon and the 2 Junctions off of it = Highways Agency. Saying that though, Temporary Lights should of been put up there last week for safety reasons, whether that be by the Council, HA or even the Police. time afterwards to sort out fixing them by the people that own them and not put people's lives at risk. TinkeyWinkey
  • Score: 0

10:30am Wed 21 Nov 12

southside7 says...

With lights, confusing for non-locals. Without lights, deathtrap. Went through it yesterday, stopped, looked, held my breath and hoped....... irresponsible council. Next time it happens the jucntion should be shut until something is set up.
With lights, confusing for non-locals. Without lights, deathtrap. Went through it yesterday, stopped, looked, held my breath and hoped....... irresponsible council. Next time it happens the jucntion should be shut until something is set up. southside7
  • Score: 0

11:54am Wed 21 Nov 12

gina948 says...

southside7 wrote:
With lights, confusing for non-locals. Without lights, deathtrap. Went through it yesterday, stopped, looked, held my breath and hoped....... irresponsible council. Next time it happens the jucntion should be shut until something is set up.
Glad you said you held your breath rather than shut your eyes!! Tee Hee!
[quote][p][bold]southside7[/bold] wrote: With lights, confusing for non-locals. Without lights, deathtrap. Went through it yesterday, stopped, looked, held my breath and hoped....... irresponsible council. Next time it happens the jucntion should be shut until something is set up.[/p][/quote]Glad you said you held your breath rather than shut your eyes!! Tee Hee! gina948
  • Score: 0

9:21am Thu 22 Nov 12

Stovepipe says...

As I have always said 'The human being really is the dumbest animal on the planet' we really are. What is wrong with everyone 'driving with due care and attention'. I mean, we've all passed the more than inadequate driving test, and then we choose to kill babies and children, is that what they call 'putting the fun back into driving'.
As I have always said 'The human being really is the dumbest animal on the planet' we really are. What is wrong with everyone 'driving with due care and attention'. I mean, we've all passed the more than inadequate driving test, and then we choose to kill babies and children, is that what they call 'putting the fun back into driving'. Stovepipe
  • Score: 0

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