ALMOST a quarter of a million pounds will be spent to make an accident blackspot safer.
Traffic lights will be put in at the junction of Dock Street and South Street in Gosport, where there have been 27 reported crashes involving cyclists in the past 18 months – more than one every three weeks.
The work is essential for the safety of cyclists and other road usersCouncillor Chris Carter
Councillors say there are also a lot of near-misses which could have resulted in serious accidents.
In a bid to stop the accidents, Hampshire County Council is spending £243,000 to introduce traffic lights to the junction, which leads to an Asda superstore.
In Hampshire, Gosport has the most cyclists on the road with 12 per cent of residents using a bike.
This is twice the number of people in Havant and Portsmouth (six per cent) and more than double the cyclists in Fareham (five per cent).
Cyclists and councillors have welcomed the change to the ‘dangerous’ junction calling the modifications ‘essential.’
Lee-on-the-Solent resident and member of the Fareham Wheelers Nigel Sign said it was good the council was spending the money.
He said: ‘That road is very busy with cyclists because they come off the ferry and ride down there.
‘There have been problems in the past and it is a dangerous junction.
‘Signs were put up but I think a traffic light-controlled junction is the best solution.’
Ward councillor for the county council Chris Carter said the work was essential before someone is killed.
‘The work is essential for the safety of cyclists and other road users,’ he said.
‘We have to change it before someone is killed there so I am glad steps are being taken to make it safer.
‘It is a busy junction with people turning down Dock Road to get to Asda and other businesses down there.’
Fellow councillor Graham Burgess, who also sits on Gosport Borough Council, added: ‘I heard that someone there yesterday was knocked down. Luckily they were okay but I think that shows why we are changing it.
‘It has been a problem for many years.’
Over the years, changes have been made to the junction to prevent accidents.
These include two yellow ‘Think Bike’ signs going up as well as the junction being made wider.
But the new junction will have the traffic lights and priority for cyclists.
Work is due to start this summer.