Major work to improve safety at the busy Smallbrook roundabout on the outskirts of Ryde is to begin next month.
The project by Island Roads for the Isle of Wight Council will introduce several safety features at Smallbrook which over the last decade has amassed the worst accident rate of any Island junction with 22 injury collisions recorded.
Work is due to begin on October 4 and last an estimate six months, avoiding the peak tourist season and minimising impact on wildlife. During work, the junction will be controlled by temporary traffic lights and Smallbrook Lane will be restricted to one-way eastbound (towards Ryde). The non-residential end of Carters Road will also be one-way eastbound from the last property, towards its Ashey Road junction. If progress with the scheme permits the oneway restriction will be removed for the festive and new year period.
Safety features include realignment of the junction’s approaches and introduction of new traffic Islands which will require traffic to slow down and negotiate the new roundabout rather than ‘straight-running’ across it.
Visibility on the roundabout approaches will be improved, especially for traffic approaching from Smallbrook Lane and Carters Road. There will also be additional streetlighting, a speed limit reduction from 40mph-30mph and anti-skid ‘slow down strips’ will be laid at the approaches to the new, realigned and relocated roundabout.
Some vegetation deemed poor value habitat will be lost to accommodate the scheme but working with Arc Consulting throughout the project, there will be a replanting programme of native species and the introduction of six dormice boxes to enhance biodiversity at the site.
The project, funded by government Local Transport Plan grant, will also require utility services to be diverted and this aspect will take an estimated two months.
Phil Jordan, IW Council cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, said: “Naturally there will be some disruption while the work is underway but given the accident rate here, we must be prepared to improve safety at this junction for everyone.
“I am mindful that grant funding will pay for the work, and we will continue to keep the community informed on progress.
“We would like to thank motorists in advance for their understanding and patience while we deliver this much needed and improved road safety scheme.”
Residents and businesses in the area are due to receive a letter providing more information.