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Lights should be axed - expert

Telford | News | Published:

Traffic lights make roads more congested and dangerous and should be abolished, a transport expert has claimed. Traffic lights make roads more congested and dangerous and should be abolished, a transport expert has claimed. Martin Cassini says drivers take their eyes off other road users and risk smashes while concentrating on traffic lights - blindly following signals without thinking. And he says the signals cause unnecessary delays - with red lights holding motorists up even when no-one is crossing. He is suggesting a return to the "common-law principle of "first in - first out" at road junctions. Read the full story in the Shropshire Star

Traffic lights make roads more congested and dangerous and should be abolished, a transport expert has claimed.

Martin Cassini says drivers take their eyes off other road users and risk smashes while concentrating on traffic lights - blindly following signals without thinking. And he says the signals cause unnecessary delays - with red lights holding motorists up even when no-one is crossing.

He is suggesting a return to the "common-law principle of "first in - first out" at road junctions.The call to abolish traffic lights was made in an article published by the Institute of Economic Affairs.

It is particularly relevant in Telford, which has become steeped in traffic lights controversy in recent months.

Traffic light schemes at the Ketley Brook Roundabout and Trench Lock Interchange have met fierce opposition from drivers, with some claiming they have caused more traffic hold-ups.

Council officials, however, insist the lights are a big improvement for road safety, particularly for cyclists and pedestrians, and do not cause undue delays for motorists.

It was revealed earlier this month that a consultation had begun which could see traffic lights installed on another of the town's busiest roundabouts - the Ketley Dingle Interchange, which links the M54 to the A5223.

Last month, borough councillor John Dixon branded the installation of traffic lights on roundabouts in the borough a "waste of money" and called for highways bosses to issue a public apology for the "chaos and inconvenience" caused by road schemes in the area.

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Mr Cassini claims removing lights gets rid of barriers to traffic flow and improves behaviour.

He said: "If you observe a junction where lights are out of action there is rarely congestion.

"People approach slowly, wave each other on and filter in turn.

"In Dutch cities where lights have been scrapped, accidents and congestion have all but disappeared."

The RAC Foundation has contested Mr Cassini's claims, arguing traffic lights are still useful in reducing traffic flow.

Executive director Edmund King said there had been a massive increase in traffic lights and although in some cases they slowed traffic down, they had real safety benefits at some junctions.

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