New road sign leaves motorists in a spin at busy Lurgan roundabout
A "confusing and dangerous" road sign which conflicts with new road markings at a roundabout is putting drivers at risk of accidents, commuters claim.
The contradictory instructions for motorists at the busy Gilford Road roundabout in Lurgan, which was upgraded as part of the £7m Millennium Way road improvement scheme, are understood to have caused a series of near-misses.
The Banbridge Road exit is situated slightly after '12 o'clock' when approaching the roundabout from Millennium Way, meaning that motorists should take the right lane when heading in that direction.
At the weekend, new road markings were painted onto the Millennium Way approach to the roundabout confirming this.
However, a previously-installed sign depicts the Banbridge Road exit as being at '12 o'clock', meaning that many local motorists have traditionally used the left lane when heading there from Millennium Way.
The sign remains at the roundabout despite the new road markings.
DUP MLA Carla Lockhart said she intended to raise the issue with roads officials.
"The concern now is that the road sign is saying one thing and the road markings are saying another," she said.
"I don't think there have been any actual accidents, but there have been a lot of near misses.
"Thousands of cars would use that roundabout every day, it is one of the town's busiest roundabouts and it is close to a number of schools.
"I have been contacted by hundreds of constituents about the roundabout issue. My advice is to follow the road markings."
Lurgan resident Karen Dando (51), who lives off the Banbridge Road, said the roundabout was "an accident waiting to happen."
"It is a small, fast roundabout and I would be concerned that some people would follow the road markings and others wouldn't, leading to crashes," she said.
"A lot of people say that the exit for Banbridge Road is only slightly after '12 o'clock' when approaching from Millennium Way, making it difficult to determine which lane you should be in.
"There has been a lot of debate about which lane is correct."
Driving instructor Anthony McMillen added that he was concerned that accidents could occur if the Department for Infrastructure failed to correct the sign.
"The situation as it stands is dangerous and confusing for drivers. It has been a big talking point in the town," he stated.
A Department for Infrastructure spokesman cited the Highway Code, which advises that while drivers should take notice of all traffic signs, lights and markings, where there are signs or road markings indicating appropriate lanes "these should assume priority".
He added: "The map sign in advance of the Banbridge Road /Gilford Road roundabout indicating Banbridge at 12 o'clock is only an indicative layout and drivers should adhere to the lane designation markings.
"These road markings are currently supplemented by Variable Message Signs indicating that Banbridge traffic should use the right lane.
"As with all alterations to the road layout, drivers will take a period of time to adjust to the new layout.
"The department will continue to monitor the operation of the roundabout and if further adjustments are required these will be implemented as appropriate."