Contractors have now re-instated streetlighting at a new roundabout in Derbyshire after it saw a rash of incidents following a temporary lighting failure.
Highways has learned that a power supply issue led to streetlights on the approaches to the roundabout not working, which may have led to crashes. It appears that some drivers did not see the roundabout early enough and drove straight onto or over it.
Press reports said around 10 such incidents occurred in the first 48 hours after the roundabout on the A516 at Mickleover opened last weekend, with claims that poor road layout and a lack of lighting played a part.
One driver said: ‘These accidents are not driver error but the result of a poorly designed, unlit roundabout on a 70mph dual carriageway.
‘By my reckoning at least 10 vehicles have had accidents within less than 48 hours of this new junction opening – so it is probably the most dangerous roundabout in the country.’
Derbyshire County Council said the roundabout was being built by Barratt Homes as part of an adjoining development.
A spokesperson told Highways: ‘The developer’s designs, including signage, lighting and road markings have all been subject to scrutiny by our engineers as well as an independent road safety audit. There are permanent signs in place and street lights on the approaches.
‘After being made aware of incidents over the weekend we sent highways officers to the site to investigate. The suggestion that new lighting on the approaches had stopped working was raised as a matter of urgency with the developer’s contractors and this was rectified. As part of the usual procedure for these schemes, further independent safety audits will be carried out shortly.’
Asked for clarification, the spokesperson told Highways: ‘The lights were functioning earlier in the week but we understand the power supply was interrupted. The developer’s contractors have addressed this and the lights are now working.’
Derbyshire CC stressed that the lights and all the new junction works are the responsibility of the developer and their contractors until it adopts them.
A spokesperson from said Barratt Homes North Midlands told Highways: ‘Appropriate checks were taken with contractors and Derbyshire County Council Highways prior to the roundabout being given consent to open on Friday 28 July. The streetlights were fully operational at that point.
‘The streetlights at the roundabout have been re-checked by contractors and are fully operational.
‘We take great care to safely develop our new homes sites and wider infrastructure and have commissioned an independent safety audit. Following its completion we will continue to work swiftly with Derbyshire County Council to put any new recommendations in place.’