One-way system ‘will result in road accident’

A car drives in the the wrong direction from a one way system in North Albert Street, almost into the path of a tram.
A car drives in the the wrong direction from a one way system in North Albert Street, almost into the path of a tram.

Traders fear a one-way system, which is causing mayhem for out-of-town drivers, is an accident waiting to happen.

The section of North Albert Street between Pharos Street and Bold Street is a north bound one way street, but several factors of the road layout, which were put in place when the new tram tracks were installed, is still causing confusion.

Parking bays in a herringbone layout force motorists to face the wrong way when they have reversed from spaces – leaving them to drive into oncoming traffic, and trams.

Derek Eaton, proprietor of Lighthouse Stationary said: “Its becoming increasingly clear that the one-way system on North Albert Street is not working.

“People, especially visitors, are still driving down it the wrong way.

“It’s an accident waiting to happen and it should be scrapped and traffic lights put in place instead.

“I’ve seen several near-misses. The most recent was a car driving down the wrong way directly at a tram.

“It managed to steer away but it was a bit of a squeeze.

“They’re spending all that money on Amounderness Way yet the roads here are like this.”

The road layout was put in place during the relaying of tram tracks when the new fleet of trams introduced in 2013.

As well as the North Albert section, the layout involves a one-way system which routes traffic coming from The Esplanade near the North Euston Hotel, around Euston Park to The Esplanade and eventually to Dock Street.

Another trader, who didn’t want to be named, says he regularly sees cars driving on to North Albert Street along the tram tracks which cut through past Pharos Lighthouse.

He said: “They’re always coming out along the tram tracks, something needs to be put in place at the other end to guide traffic along the road.

“It’s confusing for people especially when they don’t live here.”

But one of the main concerns is people backing out from the herringbone parking bays along the one-way stretch of road.

Steve Kelly, of the Tramway Cafe, said: “There will be an accident, I’ve seen a few near misses.”

Sim Lane-Dixon, Lancashire County Council’s highways manager for Wyre, said: “North Albert Street is wide enough for cars to turn the correct way when they pull out of the parking spaces.

“However, we will look at altering the alignment of the spaces when the road markings are being re-painted.

“The road was made one-way to make it safer as part of the tramway improvement scheme.

“To ensure traffic continues to move around safely, the road must be kept as a one-way street.

“We will visit the area to check that the signs are all in place and clearly visible.”

But the county council pointed out the repainting of the lines was not imminent. It will be done when they are faded and in need of re-painting.