THE roundabout at the intersection of Jewry and Peel streets in Tamworth is certainly no place for the faint-hearted.
A moment’s hesitation from a driver seeking to join the peak-hour traffic is all it takes to earn withering glares from the motorists waiting behind.
And a panicked decision to enter the intersection on nothing more than blind faith that the cars to the right will actually stop in time can be disastrous.
Les McMaster has been driving the city’s streets for more than 15 years as a cabbie and says the time has come for the city’s leaders to act.
He said both the roundabouts outside Spotlight could no longer cope with the sheer amount of cars using them each day.
“It is a big problem there in peak school and work times,” he said. “I think it’s got to the stage where something has to be done about it.
“There’s a lot of people employed in the Taminda industrial area who use the roundabout and there’s also traffic from the schools and hospital.”
Mr McMaster said he believed the most sensible long-term solution would be to add a third lane to the Jewry St bridge.He said that would allow lights to regulate the flow of traffic – by opening either two lanes east or two lanes west – according to congestion, as is common on the busiest roads in major cities.
Long-serving Tamworth councillor Warren Woodley said he agreed that Tamworth Regional Council would need to look at managing the bottleneck.
But, he said, Tamworth had experienced an explosion in the number of cars on its roads in recent years and there were a number of competing priorities.
“Jewry St is causing us some concern in terms of the traffic counters and the congestion,” Cr Woodley said.
“The council is aware of the congestion at certain times of the day and aware it can be a frustration at times. There have been discussions about making Jewry St four lanes, but obviously there is a lot of cost involved and that could be a fair way off.”
Mr McMaster, who drives for Tamworth Radio Cabs, said council could immediately improve safety at the intersection by trimming the roundabout’s vegetation, which, he said, obscured drivers’ views.
Is this Tamworth’s most frustrating roundabout?
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