[video] A scientifically dangerous junction

I love Tom Scott’s video’s. This one’s excellent.


Yeah if I saw a stop sign in this country I’d be like ‘wtf?’ and then stop just to be sure I wasn’t back in Greece where they’re on every junction.

1 Like

I’ve followed ‘Bez’ on twitter for years. He’s been banging on about the dangers of this junction for ever. For some unknown reason the council are refusing to make this a staggered junction like we see all over the country.

I see stop signs all the time. They are not widespread because we do not use them to control traffic, but they are regularly used at hazardous junctions which do not justify traffic lights or roundabouts. So rural locations like that one, or on quiet streets, and especially ones where you have old buildings t the edge of narrow that limit visibility around a corner.

Unfortunately not using them for control is also a problem with that junction. Because the most sensible thing to do if a staggered junction is not an option would be to put stop signs on the through road too. But that sort of junction us not used in the U.K., so risks causing confusion, and is probably not even allowed here. Although by policies rather than law, as I think all junctions are supposed to give someone priority.

Even then, that junction is not dangerous, it is only hazardous. It is the drivers not stopping which is dangerous. So stopping all approaches would not solve that problem, but it would at least help reduce the risk.

Whilst plenty of cyclists seem to have no regard for red lights, so may feel the same about a stop sign, it would at least make them turn to look both ways before ignoring it. Having the right of way through a junction means people do not take a proper look because they should not have to.

1 Like

I’ll be honest, my experience as a biker coming across a staggered junction isn’t exactly great, I bet you’d get some serious smidsy action

What’s wrong with a mini roundabout? Looks like it’s a national limit yes I know, but there’s a genuine safety concern and it would slow traffic down

A roundabout “would have major impact on the land, and would meet extremely strong objection

So they put a price on a life. What nice people.

1 Like

In order to meet visibility requirements, and to be able to slow traffic to a safe approaching speed, a mini roundabout there would require street lighting. They are not supposed to be used where the 85th percentile speed is 35 mph or over.

And I am certain that those are 40 mph roads, as most of the New Forest National Park is a forty zone. That is because the ponies and cows can and do go wherever they like!

Yes, and the price of lives here seems to be £100,000, the cost of a staggered junction that would have no impact on the land.

1 Like

Ah learn something new every day

I did find it odd when he said that, 100k didn’t seem like much money to me given the fatalities involved

Staggered junction seems logical and reasonable, so you do have to question why it hasn’t been done?

£1,000 for new signage vs £100,000 for a staggered junction vs committee decision of Councillors seeking a solution to a problem they don’t understand.

To be fair, if Hampshire council did have £100k lying around to spend on improving junctions, I am sure they will have many which have far higher accident rates that would be prioritized over one which sees only two incidents a year. Which has caused two deaths in a decade.

Everyone puts a cost on lives. To some extent you have to because budgets are finites, and in this case the cost they have put on a junction improvement is the cost of a few social care nurses.

But when a council puts a 20 limit on a road to reduce KSIs, you get people on here pricing it up as making it not worth riding any more. Put in a cycle lane to protect cyclists are you get people complaining about the lack of filtering room so their journeys take longer. You see people elsewhere complain about lowered speed limits and lane reductions as costing the economy.

And people keep voting for political parties which stand on a platform of lower taxes, cutting funding to local councils that see many of them close to bankruptcy.

The thing that makes this junction unique is not its importance or accident record, it is the unfortunate layout which means the incidents it does cause are identical. And even they are not the fault of the junction but the drivers who do not check their blind spots and ignore give way or stop signs.

1 Like

The problem isn’t cyclists ignoring the stop sign, the problem is drivers ignoring it and killing cyclists.

1 Like

But that is scant consolation to those who are injured to killed. It is the same principle of riding as though no one can see you. As vulnerable road users we cannot simply rely on everyone else using the roads properly so have to take more precautions that we should need to.

And the problem for cyclists here is that even taking a glance to the left as they approach the junction, any approaching vehicles will be in their blind spot. So even taking that extra effort will still be caught out.

Stopping them so they can take a proper look down the road should make a difference. Even just slowing down should break the pattern which leaves driver and cyclist in each other’s blind spots, so that the driver should see them.

So sure, the problem is drivers ignoring the road signs, but there is literally nothing you can do to prevent that beyond putting transponders in road signs so cars automatically brake at them. And I am sure we have all had cars pull out of junctions in front of us when we were clearly visible. Staggering junctions may help, but it will still not stop some people from pulling out even if they can see a cyclist, let alone if they cannot.

I think you are misunderstanding the problem. The people who are being killed are on the main road with right of way.

It would be very unorthodox to expect traffic on a main road to “stopping them so they can take a proper look” to facilitate those on the minor road who might be ignoring stop signs. If we adopted that policy we would have to slow for a stop at every side road.

I know that is the problem.

But the layout of that junction is also unorthodox. It has a design which puts two approaches in each other’s blindspots, it is located in a national park where any sort of layout changes will be strongly protested (the Friends of the New Forest are actively opposed to any road improvements, and would like to see such roads closed), and has such low traffic levels that remodelling cannot be justified. For all the “how much the cost of lives” arguments, there will be a more dangerous junction more deserving of that investment, saving more lives.

So it calls for an unorthodox solution because all the normal options are not available and, as the video shows, you cannot simply trust people to obey stop signs.

And neither of those roads are main roads. Whilst watching the video there is more traffic on the east-west road, either crossing the main line or changing direction, than there is north-south traffic. It is nothing at all like giving side roads priority over a major road. There is no busy route that would be unreasonably held up.

It is a rural crossing where the British notion that one route through an uncontrolled junction must have priority means one has to be prioritized. In many other countries all four arms of a junction like that one would be stopped. But there is nothing about that particular road which means it should take precedence if, for the cost of some paint, the junction can be made safer.

As much as it is impossible not to put a cost on lives, I would not extend that to the arbitrary direction which take priority at a rural junction as being more important. It is not going to hold up ambulances or damage the economy.

Besides which, it is the New Forest and the everything has to give way for ponies and cows anyway. It is why I always like to take a detour through its slow straight roads when in the area. If you are driving through a national park on a local road you do not have the expectation that your journey should be uninterrupted.

Maybe it’s time for an American style all-way stop?

Stop means stop. If girl ask you to stop, you either stop or get arrested. Simple as that.
4heads dont understand one of simplest word around.

So, put the local patrol car there for 3 days a week for a month. Tickets for not stopping at STOP sign not only will pay for their time, car, family trip to Las Vegas and new Bentley for local MP.
As well as teach the drivers what the bloody big red STOP sign mean (everywhere, not only in US)


1 Like

Update: the council have set aside half a million quid to stagger it. https://www.hants.gov.uk/News/08102020Ipleycrossroads

1 Like