Justice and Home Affairs Minister Jane Poole-Wilson has restated that the roundels on Douglas Promenade are unmarked junctions and not roundabouts and that all road users have equal priority.
The DoI has issued conflicting advice on the roundels this year, originally saying they were roundabouts, but has since changing its mind and said they are unmarked junctions. This message was echoed by the Police who also confirmed they are not roundabouts.
Arbory, Castletown and Malew MHK Jason Moorhouse said a key challenge to the roundels was being caused by how they are used by motorists, with some going round them and others just driving through the middle. Mr Moohouse said: ‘This must increase the risk of an accident, what assessment has been made of the situation?’
Mrs Poole-Wilson replied that an ‘unmarked junction is described in the Highway Code as a no priority junction’. She added: ‘Vehicles, bikes and pedestrians have equal priority on such junctions. Thus, they operate on the basis that vehicles will slow down to negotiate the junction, in line with the Highway Code provisions to adapt your driving to the condition of road you are on, to be prepared to adjusts your speed as a precaution and to look our for unmarked junctions where nobody has priority.’
However this did little to ease Mr Moorhouse’s concerns, as he asked that since both roundels fall on a major commuter route for the capital, was the Minister aware of how many vehicles are using the roundels each day and how many times the Police have observed the behaviours of drivers using them.
JPW said that policing of the island’s roads is a ‘matter for the Chief Constable’ so she was unable to comment on when officers have observed the roundels but that having visited the Roads Policing Unit, she was aware that they do ‘take note’ of feedback from officers and the public when deciding on where to visit.
Mr Moorhouse also asked about the positioning of the Broadway pelican crossing, which is just metres from the junction. Mrs Poole-Wilson said that the issue of highway design is a ‘matter for the Department of Infrastructure’.