Alterations will be made to a junction on the Esplanade on Douglas Promenade to improve visibility, says the infrastructure minister.
This came in response to a question from Douglas East MHK Joney Faragher who asked what assessments had been carried out of visibility at junctions on Douglas Promenade and whether the junctions comply with any relevant recommendations of the Highway Code.
Tim Crookall said: ‘This is a 20mph zone that we are talking about, we haven’t named anywhere but I believe we’re talking about the Esplanade and it is a 20mph zone there. Members may be aware that maximising the parking on the new promenade was a point of much debate during the design and construction phase of the project.
‘As a result, the design was changed several times to try and add in additional parking wherever possible. However, in operation this junction is more challenging than it should be and minor, low-cost alterations will be made.’
The minister said the Highways division was aware of some concerns from residents about visibility when exiting some side roads onto the prom.
‘I would expect any progress on this issue in the near future,’ Mr Crookall said.
He added that the Department of Infrastructure couldn’t give any time commitments but if there is ‘anything encroaching on safety issues, it will be done as soon as possible’.
Mr Crookall stressed that if physical alterations had to be made, he would predict the work would be done after TT.
The Highways division of the DoI is apparently aware of public concern in the area and improvement options are available and being looked at.
Mrs Faragher stated that under rule 243 in the Manx Highway Code there is a stipulation that vehicles must be seven metres away from the junction at night and in section 5.2 of the Manual for Manx Roads it is stated that encroaching on a visibility splay can only occur under certain circumstances, namely where speeds are low – under 20 miles per hour.
She asked if this set a worrying precedent if a department is ‘running roughshod over the rules’ and if the department will commit to undertaking a traffic survey to check that more than 85% of traffic travels at under 20 miles per hour, in accordance with the rules.
Mr Crookall said: ‘I still am concerned, having spoken to members who represent this area and spoken to people who live in the area, and speaking to officers.’