Potential investors 'avoid notorious Worcester roundabout', claims ex-councillor

Potential investors 'avoid notorious Worcester roundabout', claims ex-councillor

Potential investors 'avoid notorious Worcester roundabout', claims ex-councillor

Former councillor Aubrey Tarbuck

First published in News Evesham Journal: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

BUSINESS people from areas like Birmingham visiting Worcester are so fed up with the city's controversial Whittington island they are AVOIDING coming off at Junction 7 of the M5.

That's the claim from a former councillor, who says potential investors in the city are telling him how notorious the £1.3 million roundabout has become outside of Worcestershire.

Aubrey Tarbuck, a former Conservative who was first elected in 1966, now attends masonic meetings around the region.

The 83-year-old, who sat on district councils in Worcester and Malvern, was at one masonic get-together with business owners in Evesham last month when he was approached about it.

He said the fellow members, many of whom were from the Birmingham area, said how they "avoid the island at all costs" because of its reputation.

"I couldn't believe it, they were all coming up to me to talk about the Whittington island," he said.

"These are business people in and around Birmingham who spend a lot of time buying, going to areas like China to invest.

"One said they all 'avoid it at all costs', another said they get off at another junction to get around it, another said they came off it one day and saw two cars shunt into each other and won't use it again.

"It's ridiculous, it's already got a real reputation and I don't know why someone hasn't been held accountable for it.

"It's been a disaster, heads should roll really."

His stinging criticism comes just weeks after Worcestershire County Council admitted it would be making changes to the approach to the island, at the top of the A4440 Southern Link Road, to make it safer.

Since being revamped in 2012 there have been six injuries, one serious, as opposed to the zero that had occurred in the two years before the layout was altered.

St John's-based campaigner Lisa Ventura set up a Facebook campaign in May to try and instigate changes.

It is used by 40,000 vehicles daily and the council plans to put up extra signs off Junction 7 of the M5, and additional road markings, to alert drivers about the angled slip-road.

Plans to make the changes are currently being finalised by officers.

Councillor John Smith, cabinet member for highways, said: "It's in the programme (of rolling highways improvements) to be done, not only new signs but also road markings.

"I'll be keeping an eye on it and working with Jon Fraser (highways officer) to make sure it's in place."

The council also says by 2019 the slip lane will be turned into a new access route all the way to Norton island, as part of plans to dual-link most of the A4440.

Comments (13)

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3:49pm Thu 7 Aug 14

mrwrighty says...

OK, then why are these Birmingham people not getting off at junction 6. I agree the roundabout is very badly planned, but I'm not sure the argument regarding investors stands up.
OK, then why are these Birmingham people not getting off at junction 6. I agree the roundabout is very badly planned, but I'm not sure the argument regarding investors stands up. mrwrighty
  • Score: 16

4:21pm Thu 7 Aug 14

I'm_not_bitter says...

mrwrighty wrote:
OK, then why are these Birmingham people not getting off at junction 6. I agree the roundabout is very badly planned, but I'm not sure the argument regarding investors stands up.
Perhaps they are going to the University/ St. John's side of town? You wouldn't want to go through the city centre and if the roads worked properly it would be a sensible route.
[quote][p][bold]mrwrighty[/bold] wrote: OK, then why are these Birmingham people not getting off at junction 6. I agree the roundabout is very badly planned, but I'm not sure the argument regarding investors stands up.[/p][/quote]Perhaps they are going to the University/ St. John's side of town? You wouldn't want to go through the city centre and if the roads worked properly it would be a sensible route. I'm_not_bitter
  • Score: 2

4:36pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Landy44 says...

I really struggle to believe this......particular
ly since it apparently originates from a discussion from a Masonic meeting, and there is no corroborating feedback.

As an aside, Why is membership of that organisation permitted by Councillors? Surely it creates a conflict of interest? At the very least it creates PERCEPTION of something less than transparent.

I'm frankly sick of hearing about this roundabout. Highways: sort it out. Drivers: take more care.
I really struggle to believe this......particular ly since it apparently originates from a discussion from a Masonic meeting, and there is no corroborating feedback. As an aside, Why is membership of that organisation permitted by Councillors? Surely it creates a conflict of interest? At the very least it creates PERCEPTION of something less than transparent. I'm frankly sick of hearing about this roundabout. Highways: sort it out. Drivers: take more care. Landy44
  • Score: 7

4:36pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Landy44 says...

I really struggle to believe this......particular
ly since it apparently originates from a discussion from a Masonic meeting, and there is no corroborating feedback.

As an aside, Why is membership of that organisation permitted by Councillors? Surely it creates a conflict of interest? At the very least it creates PERCEPTION of something less than transparent.

I'm frankly sick of hearing about this roundabout. Highways: sort it out. Drivers: take more care.
I really struggle to believe this......particular ly since it apparently originates from a discussion from a Masonic meeting, and there is no corroborating feedback. As an aside, Why is membership of that organisation permitted by Councillors? Surely it creates a conflict of interest? At the very least it creates PERCEPTION of something less than transparent. I'm frankly sick of hearing about this roundabout. Highways: sort it out. Drivers: take more care. Landy44
  • Score: 0

10:16pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Small Town says...

Ugh? So because it's from a Masonic meeting and not a Round Table or Worcester Air Ambulance meeting the story lacks credibility?!

WTF!

The Masonic organisation donate millions each year to charity, support through free legal advice the underprivileged, and champion free speech and human rights. What's your problem!?!?

(PS - I would be amazed if anyone more than 5 miles from Whittington was even aware of any of the local 'arms in the arm/we can't cope' commotion over this road feature. The changes to the island have cut 10 mins off my journey from St Peters to Baylis Co, the flow of traffic north is fab now).
Ugh? So because it's from a Masonic meeting and not a Round Table or Worcester Air Ambulance meeting the story lacks credibility?! WTF! The Masonic organisation donate millions each year to charity, support through free legal advice the underprivileged, and champion free speech and human rights. What's your problem!?!? (PS - I would be amazed if anyone more than 5 miles from Whittington was even aware of any of the local 'arms in the arm/we can't cope' commotion over this road feature. The changes to the island have cut 10 mins off my journey from St Peters to Baylis Co, the flow of traffic north is fab now). Small Town
  • Score: 3

10:59am Fri 8 Aug 14

liketoknow says...

I can't see why a professional would avoid a road junction just because it's a bit 'iffy'. Do they avoid the M25 because a broken down vehicle could turn it into a giant carpark? I don't think so somehow .
I can't see why a professional would avoid a road junction just because it's a bit 'iffy'. Do they avoid the M25 because a broken down vehicle could turn it into a giant carpark? I don't think so somehow . liketoknow
  • Score: 6

11:24am Fri 8 Aug 14

themooman says...

completely agree! I havent been home in months because of this roundabout!!
completely agree! I havent been home in months because of this roundabout!! themooman
  • Score: 6

11:29am Fri 8 Aug 14

Tobster says...

Why shouldn't councillors be masons?

They're a cooperative society, just like the quakers, and quite a charitable one at that.

My father was an active member for many years, and the 'dodgy handshake club' image they have is a myth.
Why shouldn't councillors be masons? They're a cooperative society, just like the quakers, and quite a charitable one at that. My father was an active member for many years, and the 'dodgy handshake club' image they have is a myth. Tobster
  • Score: 2

12:18pm Fri 8 Aug 14

Perfman says...

themooman wrote:
completely agree! I havent been home in months because of this roundabout!!
I'm stuck on the M5 and have been since February .... HELP!!!!!
[quote][p][bold]themooman[/bold] wrote: completely agree! I havent been home in months because of this roundabout!![/p][/quote]I'm stuck on the M5 and have been since February .... HELP!!!!! Perfman
  • Score: 8

6:17pm Fri 8 Aug 14

DarrenM says...

liketoknow wrote:
I can't see why a professional would avoid a road junction just because it's a bit 'iffy'. Do they avoid the M25 because a broken down vehicle could turn it into a giant carpark? I don't think so somehow .
Yes I avoid the regions motorways, at all costs whenever posible as well as several others that I know, for the sole reaon that as soon as some nutter wipes themselves up on it, Worst Farcia immediately treat it as a murder scene, there being no such thing as an accident apparently and then proceed to close the motorway leaving the general public stranded on it, for 6+ hours at a time.

Then even if getting the traffic flowing again was a priority, (Which it no longer is) those experts in the highways agency have replaced all the central reservations with concrete blocks, so they can't drop a section out, and turn the traffic around.
[quote][p][bold]liketoknow[/bold] wrote: I can't see why a professional would avoid a road junction just because it's a bit 'iffy'. Do they avoid the M25 because a broken down vehicle could turn it into a giant carpark? I don't think so somehow .[/p][/quote]Yes I avoid the regions motorways, at all costs whenever posible as well as several others that I know, for the sole reaon that as soon as some nutter wipes themselves up on it, Worst Farcia immediately treat it as a murder scene, there being no such thing as an accident apparently and then proceed to close the motorway leaving the general public stranded on it, for 6+ hours at a time. Then even if getting the traffic flowing again was a priority, (Which it no longer is) those experts in the highways agency have replaced all the central reservations with concrete blocks, so they can't drop a section out, and turn the traffic around. DarrenM
  • Score: 3

12:26am Sat 9 Aug 14

KeithSealman says...

I am so glad this newspaper story was published. Many readers have been wondering which bandwagon the renowned self-publicist Lisa Ventura had jumped onto now. It must be almost a few days since she last got her name in the paper, and I'm truly thankful to the paper for letting us know indirectly that Lisa has sprung into action and organised another Facebook group for her latest bandwagon to get her name in the paper.
I am so glad this newspaper story was published. Many readers have been wondering which bandwagon the renowned self-publicist Lisa Ventura had jumped onto now. It must be almost a few days since she last got her name in the paper, and I'm truly thankful to the paper for letting us know indirectly that Lisa has sprung into action and organised another Facebook group for her latest bandwagon to get her name in the paper. KeithSealman
  • Score: 7

8:37am Sat 9 Aug 14

uptonX says...

For goodness sake stop the personal attacks and get back to the point. This roundabout IS dangerous, most locals have known that since the day it that slip road opened and now accidents statistics prove it. What are people supposed to do when the council have repeatedly ignored the issue ? Just wait until someone is killed there ?! Even now the council talk of more paint and road markings as a programme of "rolling improvement" such contempt and arrogance is incredible and shows they just don't get it. Yes people should be sacked over this. Remember these people paid our public money to a private company to make changes to a previously perfectly satisfactory road layout that has resulted in personal injuries to people trying to use that junction correctly. The only safe course of action is to close the sliproad until the road is 2 lane right down to Norton Island, that is what must be done and we need people like Lisa Ventura to continue the pressure until it is done.
For goodness sake stop the personal attacks and get back to the point. This roundabout IS dangerous, most locals have known that since the day it that slip road opened and now accidents statistics prove it. What are people supposed to do when the council have repeatedly ignored the issue ? Just wait until someone is killed there ?! Even now the council talk of more paint and road markings as a programme of "rolling improvement" such contempt and arrogance is incredible and shows they just don't get it. Yes people should be sacked over this. Remember these people paid our public money to a private company to make changes to a previously perfectly satisfactory road layout that has resulted in personal injuries to people trying to use that junction correctly. The only safe course of action is to close the sliproad until the road is 2 lane right down to Norton Island, that is what must be done and we need people like Lisa Ventura to continue the pressure until it is done. uptonX
  • Score: -6

5:54pm Sun 10 Aug 14

Dirty-Belcher says...

uptonX wrote:
For goodness sake stop the personal attacks and get back to the point. This roundabout IS dangerous, most locals have known that since the day it that slip road opened and now accidents statistics prove it. What are people supposed to do when the council have repeatedly ignored the issue ? Just wait until someone is killed there ?! Even now the council talk of more paint and road markings as a programme of "rolling improvement" such contempt and arrogance is incredible and shows they just don't get it. Yes people should be sacked over this. Remember these people paid our public money to a private company to make changes to a previously perfectly satisfactory road layout that has resulted in personal injuries to people trying to use that junction correctly. The only safe course of action is to close the sliproad until the road is 2 lane right down to Norton Island, that is what must be done and we need people like Lisa Ventura to continue the pressure until it is done.
Very well said.
[quote][p][bold]uptonX[/bold] wrote: For goodness sake stop the personal attacks and get back to the point. This roundabout IS dangerous, most locals have known that since the day it that slip road opened and now accidents statistics prove it. What are people supposed to do when the council have repeatedly ignored the issue ? Just wait until someone is killed there ?! Even now the council talk of more paint and road markings as a programme of "rolling improvement" such contempt and arrogance is incredible and shows they just don't get it. Yes people should be sacked over this. Remember these people paid our public money to a private company to make changes to a previously perfectly satisfactory road layout that has resulted in personal injuries to people trying to use that junction correctly. The only safe course of action is to close the sliproad until the road is 2 lane right down to Norton Island, that is what must be done and we need people like Lisa Ventura to continue the pressure until it is done.[/p][/quote]Very well said. Dirty-Belcher
  • Score: -9

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