A 585 Norcross Roundabout Improvement proposals

Feedback from Thornton Action Group (TAG)

TAG met on Wednesday 6th March with discussion of the proposals to improve the Norcross Roundabout on the Agenda. The majority of members present had visited the exhibition at Thornton Methodist Church. It was agreed to present a summary of the discussion points to Highways England as part of the feedback requested.

Members welcomed the fact that HE recognised that with the increase in traffic flows, improvements were urgently required. The latest proposals for the development of the Norcross site for housing and shops will add to a junction already at capacity in peak hours.

The major objectives of the improvements were

A To improve the flow of traffic, particularly the hold up of traffic trying to access the roundabout from the north and south along Fleetwood Road.

B To improve the safety both for cars users and pedestrians. Cars entering the roundabout from the north and south (Fleetwood Road) and Norcross Lane experience problems with through traffic on Amounderness Way who move onto the outside lane as approaching the roundabout and continue at high speed thus cutting across other traffic.

Members agreed that the installation of traffic lights would be lead to a significant improvement to both safety and traffic flow, although there may be more queuing on the Amounderness Way approaches. There would need to be coordination of the signals so that vehicles once on the roundabout are able to continue and exit and so do not block the roundabout. An example of how this works is at the Plymouth Road roundabout where the A 586 enters Blackpool.

Signalised pedestrian crossings would significantly improve safety for cyclists (dismounted) and walkers. However, there are no signals proposed for Fleetwood Road South coming from Carleton. This is a serious flaw in the proposals.

In order not to cause tailbacks along Amounderness Way (to Morrison’s to the East and Skippool Roundabout to the west) arising from the proposed signals, members proposed a ‘hamburger’ layout which would also encourage HGVs going to the Hillhouse Site Enterprise Zone and the Waste Treatment works/Jamieson Road tip to use Amounderness Way and not cause serious problems to house foundations, to road safety and to health from exhaust emissions by going through the middle of Thornton. It is vital that signage is erected to the approach to the roundabout along Amounderness Way from the east to direct drivers of HGVs to continue straight on.

It is essential that the location of the bus stops on Fleetwood Road both to the north and south of the roundabout are carefully considered to avoid the backing up of traffic onto the roundabout. At present there are no bus bays to prevent traffic being held up behind a bus at one of these stops.

Finally it is also essential to consider implications for surface water drainage and the effects of highways blocking surface water flow and causing flooding to adjacent properties as has happened to the east of the A 585 between the Morrison’s Roundabout and West Drive. The Norcross Roundabout is in Flood Zone 3 with properties to the north and south which are vulnerable.

Members reported a discussion at the exhibition about possible closure of Amounderness Way during the construction phase. HE should be aware that the only deviation for traffic coming from the east is along Skippool Road (signed as ‘unsuitable for HGVs’) which would cause complete gridlock through Thornton Village. This happens now on occasions for short periods when the police close the A 585 when there has been an accident.

HE are asked to look at the timing for the Norcross Improvements in relation to the proposed Singleton Bypass where it is proposed to change the Skippool Roundabout to a signalised junction and also the Morrison’s Roundabout where it is extremely hazardous for cars exiting from Morrison’s and for pedestrians trying to walk to Cleveleys.

Jenifer Phillips

Chair Thornton Action Group