Baffled motorists have slammed a new £20million roundabout because of its obscured signs, road markings that ‘make no sense’ and ‘shoddy workmanship’.
Drivers have claimed the road signage and markings ‘make no sense’ meaning road users are unsure which lane to be in or which way to go.
People across Basingstoke, Hampshire, are said to complain about the roundabout ‘every single day’ and despite the controversial infrastructure being built with the intention of ‘making travel easier’ many are confused about how to navigate it.
One anonymous instructor said the project is a ‘comedy of errors’ and locals have even branded the infrastructure as a ‘confusing race track’.
Photos show one road sign being partially obscured by traffic lights, a bus stop and another sign.
Now – just months after the roundabout was completed – the council are relocating two traffic signs to a ‘more suitable location’ and aim to ‘improve visibility to the traffic signals’ after an influx of complaints from drivers.
Brighton Hill Roundabout in Basingstoke, Hampshire, has been causing confusion for drivers
Driving instructors have warned that even they don’t know which way to go
Traffic lights can be seen obstructing a sign on the Brighton Hill Roundabout
The Brighton Hill Roundabout took nearly two years to build in a ‘£20 million improvement scheme’ by Hampshire County Council.
The work was first proposed in September 2018 before being approved some two years later and being completed last winter.
The updated roundabout was built to improve access to the town and reduce congestion through the installation of a traffic light system with overpasses.
But driving instructors have gone public to air their criticisms of the project.
Driving instructor Stephen Sillitoe said: ‘The roundabout markings and signage make no sense and some turns are not doable.’
The ‘confusing signs’ mean road users are constantly having to switch lanes when travelling around the roundabout – in particular from one entry on Winchester Road.
The 54-year-old said instructors are finding it hard to get to one district in particular – South Ham – as the markings and signage on the roundabout are allegedly wrong.
Here a bus shelter is also obstructing signage, making it more difficult for motorists
An aerial view of the roundabout which has undergone works in a £20m project
Traffic lights seen obscuring a sign here – this is one of the things people have complained about
Mr Sillitoe said it is nearly impossible to move lanes when there is traffic, adding: ‘If qualified drivers don’t know how to navigate it how am I meant to teach a learner to?’
Due to the confusion, now only three directions on the roundabout are being used by instructors.
Mr Sillitoe is appealing to the council to ‘explain’ or ‘highlight’ the roundabout errors, adding: ‘They must have known or had an idea how the roundabout would work when they designed it and we need to know.
‘We hope that if they explain this it will help highlight if the signage or road markings are wrong.
‘If you just ignore the signs it works but if you follow the signs it doesn’t and I can’t teach learners to ignore the signs.’
Another driving instructor, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: ‘A lot of the signs, you can’t really see because they are obscured. A bus stop is obscuring one of the signs.
‘If you are not familiar with the area, people are going to get confused by it. You have got to be very careful to change lanes.’
The instructor said his students and other motorists are ‘quite confused’ by the roundabout and highlighted the counterintuitive use of traffic lights.
He added: ‘The problem is the people that don’t know the roundabout.
Motorists have hit out at the roundabout as being badly designed and confusing
‘Some of the signs just aren’t clear and people don’t know what lane they need to be in.
‘It’s just badly designed, the best thing they could have done is left it.
‘I mean, who puts traffic lights on a roundabout? The whole point of a roundabout is to keep traffic flowing.’
Other motorists have taken to social media to share their complaints on the project.
One Facebook user, David Floyd, responded to a Hampshire County Council post on the roundabout saying: ‘I can’t get my head around how it cost [£20 million] and 2 years to build a roundabout that was already there.’
Other locals responded to Basingstoke MP Maria Miller’s Facebook post announcing the completion of the ‘£20m of infrastructure’ which ‘further increases the capacity of our roads’.
John Chappel replied: ‘Went across it twice today, has turned a normal roundabout into a confusing race track with people [having] no idea what lane they are or should be in.
‘The safe pedestrian underpass have gone leaving people to run the gauntlet of crossing busy roads at numerous traffic lights.
‘The person responsible for this waste of public money needs sacking and that is putting it mildly.’
Another angry resident, Zac Brindle, posted: ‘Some pretty shoddy workmanship on dome of the lanes with patchwork asphalt. How much did it cost again?’
Carol Peters, added: ‘I thought it was fine as it was, now it’s confusing as no one knows what is the correct lane.’
The council have said that some road markings are going to be revised
The council have now announced that on Monday February 19 ‘planned works’ will be undertaken in which they will relocate two traffic signs to ‘improve visibility to the traffic signals’.
A post on the councils’ website outlined the need for a road closure next week, adding: ‘The new directional sign on the approach to the roundabout will be moved to a more suitable location in advance of the roundabout to improve visibility to the offside traffic signal head.
‘The warning sign for traffic signals will also be moved at the same time.’
A Hampshire County Council spokesperson said: ‘Brighton Hill Roundabout has been designed to meet current design standards, and this includes signage and road markings.
‘We recognise that once a new road scheme is in operation, particularly at a complex junction such as this one, there may be adjustments that we need to make to help drivers familiarise themselves with the changed layout.
‘As part of our ongoing monitoring of the Brighton Hill site and following engagement with local road users – including driving test examiners – some road markings and signage are to be revised to further assist drivers.’
MailOnline has contacted Hampshire Council for further comment.