Traffic lights near hospital will be monitored by CCTV to help stop congestion (From Southend Standard)
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Traffic lights near hospital will be monitored by CCTV to help stop congestion
6:00pm Wednesday 18th December 2013 in Echo News
TRAFFIC lights will be installed near a congested roundabout and monitored in a bid to cut down on tailbacks.
Essex County Council, which has already trialed the traffic lights at the Basildon Hospital roundabout, has announced they will be permanently installed by the hospital trust next year.
The lights will be in addition to a £3.4million package of improvements to the A176 Nethermayne, which will include adding an extra northbound lane towards Basildon, to help cope with the 25,000 vehicles clogging up the roundabout every day.
County Hall also wants to install £70,000 CCTV cameras next to the lights which will be monitord and manually controlled during peak hours.
Operators will be able to stop traffic on the approach to the roundabout, to let vehicles filter out the hospital – tackling a problem that has blighted staff and patients for years.
Not everyone is convinced the measures will improve matters.
Kerry Smith, Ukip county councillor for Westley Heights, said: “They are going to be spending £70,000 on telling County Hall the obvious – there is congestion at rush hour.
“I don’t think the lights will improve anything. They will just push the problem elsewhere.
“There are lights further on up the Nethermayne Road and that will always hold up traffic too.
They need to build a pedestrian bridge over the A176.”
The lights will be installed by Basildon Hospital following requests from trust managers for measures to ease tailbacks.
Cash for the CCTV is likely to come out of the Local Highways Panel budget.
County Hall claims that this part of the road is separate to the northern part after the roundabout travelling towards Basildon, and so it should come out of a different budget to the £3.4million set aside to widen the road.
A hospital spokesman said: “Visitors who drive to Basildon Hospital will be aware that it can take some time to exit the site at certain times of the day.
“In October a traffic light scheme was trialled between 4pm and 6pm, where traffic approaching from the A13 on Nethermayne was held to allow cars to exit from the hospital site.
“This had a positive impact.”
Works will start on both projects, if they are given final approval, in the New Year.
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