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  • Birmingham drivers gripped with fear at UK's worst junctions

2 March 2009

Birmingham drivers gripped with fear at UK's worst junctions

- 58% of accidents occur at road junctions
- 82% women are scared by UK junctions
- 55% of drivers plan their route to avoid bad junctions
- SpaghettiJunction in Birmingham tops the top ten worst junction list

Badly designed road junctions are responsible for 58% of the UK’s road accidents, according to research from the Department for Transport╣. It’s no surprise then that according to a poll of Birmingham drivers by Autoglass, over half (51%) admit to having an accident or near miss at a road junction in the last twelve months.

The survey reveals that 82% of women feel nervous and scared when approaching or driving on a badly designed junction and that more than half (55%) of motorists would plan their route to deliberately avoid a hazardous interchange.

Spaghetti Junction in Birmingham, Britain’s very first free flowing interchange, topped the list of bad junctions with 45% of motorists voting it the UK’s worst road junction. The Magic Roundabout in Swindon came second in the poll with 25% of the votes and in third place was the Boreham Interchange in Essex with 13% of drivers naming it Britain’s worst junction.

According to the research, the biggest worry for drivers is being forced to cross moving traffic and change lanes.

Smaller junctions also cause problems for drivers with 15% of motorists voting parked cars obscuring their view of the road as a major hazard.

Nigel Doggett, managing director of Autoglass, says: “Safety on our roads is paramount and badly designed junctions can cause serious accidents and much driver concern. The key to motoring is to drive safely and responsibly at all times, when approaching any junction it’s vital that drivers take care when crossing moving lanes of traffic and that they stay calm and collected even when under pressure.”

Top Tips for remaining safe at a junction
1. As you approach the junction remain calm and use the Mirror – Signal – Manoeuvre sequence
2. Make sure you adjust your speed and position on the road and are fully aware of the situation around you.
3. Take note of the road sign that will indicate the shape of the junction or roundabout so you are fully aware of the position you are entering the roundabout and the exit you are leaving from.
4. Indicate to other drivers around you where you are planning to go by signalling correctly and importantly, take your time even if you are feeling under pressure.
5. In addition to regular traffic in all cases you should watch out for:
• Motorcyclists
• Long Vehicles with less flexibility at roundabouts
• Pedestrians who maybe crossing the approach to the roundabout or junction
• Cyclists and horse riders
• Traffic crossing in front of you that decide to leave an exit last minute
• Traffic positioned incorrectly and in the wrong lane.

Top 10 Worst Junctions

1. Spaghetti Junction (Birmingham, West Middlands)
2. The Magic Roundabout (Swindon, Wilts)
3. Boreham Interchange (Boreham, Essex)
4. Wetherby South Interchange (Wetherby, South Yorks)
5. Bricket Wood Interchange (Watford, Herts)
6. Black Cat (St Neots, Beds)
7. Cat Thorpe Interchange (Leicester, East Mids)
8. Strensham Interchange (Strensham, Worcs)
9. Sherriffhall Rounderbout (Sherriffhall, Edinburgh)
10. Orrell Interchange (Wigan, Lancs)

Autoglass is the UK’s leading vehicle glass repair and replacement service, with 109 branches nationwide and 1,200 mobile service units. For details of your nearest centre call 0800 36 36 36 or visit

╣ DfT report 2007






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