Failing lights face axe in review on the roads

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Failing lights face axe in review on the roads

TRAFFIC lights across Portsmouth have been found to be in desperate need of repair, after a tour of the city by councillors and professional drivers.

Taxi drivers joined Portsmouth transport boss Lib Dem Cllr Jason Fazackarley and his Tory counterpart Cllr Luke Stubbs on a midnight tour to view 'problem' signals.

They found many need urgent maintenance, as light phasing and detector technology is broken, forcing road users to have to wait far longer than necessary.

Cllr Fazackarley has also been convinced some lights should be removed.

He said: 'We went on the tour last Tuesday from 10pm to 12.45am, and there are problems with lots of the lights.

The city's roads weren't designed to take as much traffic as they do now. Space pressures mean we can't always make things much better, but we can improve traffic flow by making sure lights work as they should, and removing those which are superfluous.'

The council's transport team is now working on a list of lights which need repairs, and Cllr Fazackarley has confirmed those at Eastern Road's junction with Kirpal Road, directly outside Waterside Park, Milton, will be removed.

He said: 'There are lights for traffic heading south, then a couple of yards further on, another set, which aren't needed. We'll remove those.'

Cllr Fazackarley discovered one of the reasons the lights are in a state of disrepair is because although they were installed in the 1980s and 1990s, they have had no maintenance work since 2001-02.

As a result, detector technology, which means lights can change when roads are less busy late at night, is not working.

Signal phasing, which ensures appropriate time is given to traffic to cross junctions, is also malfunctioning.

Cllr Fazackarley said: 'To upgrade the entire system, including replacing lights, would cost 7m. We just can't afford that at the moment. But we are listening to what people tell us, and will be doing work where it's needed most.'

A daytime tour with members of the public will be held early in January, and will focus on matters including problem junctions and roundabouts.

Malfunctioning traffic signals will be removed or repaired

by RORY O'KEEFFE

Political editor

rory.okeeffe@thenews.co.uk