Roundabouts are a far better solution

Regarding the new traffic lights in Earsdon Road, I agree with all the criticisms made by Dr AM Hulme (News Guardian, May 15), and would like to add my observations from a cyclist’s perspective.

I have cycled this stretch of road on my daily commute for well over a decade now and had never considered it to present any problems.

Traffic flowed freely; there was plenty of space for vehicles to pass me and I seldom saw more than a couple of cars waiting to join from the Wellfield junction.

The introduction of two sets of traffic lights in both directions has made life horrible for the cyclist.

I routinely have to stop for the lights to go through their sequence while typically no traffic joins from the side roads.

Meanwhile, two lines of traffic build up on the dual carriageway.

When travelling north I need to turn right at the Red Lion roundabout. As I move away from the Wellfield traffic lights I have to clip back into my pedals, regain speed and somehow try to move across two lanes of traffic, accelerating from the traffic lights as I try to get in position to make the right turn.

Then there is the narrowing of the road at the junctions. Was this done with the express intention of endangering cyclists?

If I am lucky enough to reach the lights on green I have to contend with cars in two lanes converging upon a narrowing gap.

What am I supposed to do? Ride in the gutter and hope we can all squeeze through? Move into the middle of the lane and hold up the vehicles behind me? Maybe the experts who designed the layout could advise.

While the road works were in progress, there were lane closures and temporary road surfaces to contend with, but I felt safer and moved faster than is possible now the work is complete.

As pointed out in the previous letter, aligning the junctions of West Park and Wellfield would have allowed the installation of a roundabout, which would have maintained far better traffic flow, particularly outside peak traffic times.

Even two roundabouts would be preferable to the current layout.

David Clark

Whitley Bay