The new one-way system at the top of Station Road has become an ‘absolute nightmare’ with motorists ignoring the new signs and driving up the wrong way, councillors in Gillingham have been told.
The town’s general purposes committee was told that at least two councillors have seen drivers going the wrong way up the top section of Station Road, which Dorset Council highways engines recently made one-way down from the town towards ASDA.
‘There are two huge red road closed signs and I have stood there and watched people go up the wrong way on the one-way system,’ said mayor Barry Von Clemens at the online meeting on Monday.
‘People stop and read and then drive on past. This whole thing is becoming an absolute nightmare … with drivers who can’t read the words “road closed”.’
Committee chair Councillor Mick Hill, who co-runs the Station Road Garage 1912 Ltd next to the start of the new one-way system, told the meeting: ‘I have told many motorists myself that they are driving the wrong way up a one-way street. But it appeared to fall on deaf ears. I’m sure something will happen – let’s hope it’s not something bad.’
Dorset Council put up additional signs warning drivers of the change to the road after being alerted by local businesses and the town council that some cars were still going the wrong way.
Councillor Von Clemens also told Gillingham News: ‘The problem is not with the signage but with those drivers choosing to ignore them and continue the wrong way along a one-way road.’
The same meeting also heard that a local resident had stated that buses are not stopping on Newbury at the moment because of changes to the roads and the new cycle paths. Councillor Donna Toye told fellow councillors: ‘This is hearsay … bus drivers are [apparently] unable to find a safe place to stop in that area.’
A spokesperson for Dorset Council said: ‘Our workers on site have received comments about drivers ignoring the no entry signs, as well as witnessing it themselves.
‘The no entry signs are prominent and correctly installed, and there is additional temporary signage currently in the area to reinforce this change. White lining for the parking bays will soon be installed, making the road look much narrower, and ‘No Entry’ is also being painted in the road to support the signage.’
The spokesperson said they were unable to comment on the bus issue as they had not been infomred of it.