Motorists in Chippenham say traffic lights which replaced a mini-roundabout at a busy junction in the town are dangerously confusing.

Local MP Michelle Donelan has now taken up the complaints of people about the design of the junction at the top of New Road.

The spot is where five roads converge, with two one-way streets and a filter system adding to the complications.

Ms Donelan has written to Wiltshire Council amid concern over near-misses as drivers negotiate the junction.

The authority says it is continuing to monitor the operation of the lights.

A debate has been played out on Facebook, with 142 comments on a thread started by one motorist.

He said that drivers coming up the one-way section of Park Lane to head for the Hathaway Retail Park can end up trying to cross the junction at the same time as motorists emerging from Langley Road.

“It's very unclear for drivers turning right that they are supposed to give way since they just get a green light at the same time as those going straight through down the hill.”

Among the suggestions Ms Donelan has put to the council are changing the light timings so each line of traffic gets its own slot and improving warning signs so that people coming from Park Lane know to wait for the filter.

There is also concern at the lack of space for traffic waiting for the filter to go green.

A resident in Langley Road added: “ We have to use this junction daily. In the last week alone we have had three near-misses and been subjected to abuse by people coming across from Park Lane. It’s very scary, especially when accompanying a learner driver.

"It’s very frustrating when there is the obvious - and presumably low cost - option of changing the lights to allow a single direction of traffic flow at once.”

Another motorist said it was a fatality waiting to happen and added: “I am dumbfounded as to why this layout was ever approved in the first place, and to think of the amount paid to whoever designed it makes my blood boil.”

Another said the situation was ‘very frightening indeed.’

“The lights facing Park Lane are misleading. A green light falsely gives the driver the supposed right of way only to be side-swiped by a car coming from Langley Road. This situation needs immediate attention for sure.”

Many people have questioned why the council needed to replace the roundabout that had operated at the spot until several months ago.

Wiltshire Council highways cabinet member Dr Mark McClelland said: “We are continuing to monitor the operation of the traffic signals and the way they are being used, and we are making adjustments as required.”