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Newbury sliproads monitored after police complaints

SLIPROADS ON the recently-opened Newbury bypass are being monitored by the Highways Agency after complaints from local police led to safety modifications.

Extra junction countdown signs have been added after Thames Valley Police wrote to the Agency saying two busy sliproads were too short.

The problem appears to have stemmed partly from the Agency's desire to minimise the environmental impact of the controversial project. The 'compact' junction design has shorter diverges than normal for a dual carriageway.

A police spokesman said cars were having to brake sharply to negotiate the exit safely. 'Cars entering along the sliproads didn't have enough time to pick up speed. Instead of joining the high speed traffic at around 100km/h-110km/h they were entering at not much over 65km/h,' he added.

The Agency said drivers were contributing to the problem by treating the bypass like a motorway and exiting far too fast. 'We hope the new signs will alleviate the problem

Only minor damage was done when 200 roads protesters blocked the Newbury bypass on Sunday, according to the Highways Agency.

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