Tempers flare as drivers use wrong lanes at 'improved' Fiveways Leicester junction

Work to transform Leicester's 'confusing' Fiveways junction on the A50 is complete, and as we reported earlier this week, when LeicestershireLive went to speak to people in the area about the impact the changes had had, few had anything good to say about it.

The consensus was that it was more confusing and more dangerous, and bad for local businesses due to a lack of parking and the new rules banning traffic from going between Blackbird Road and Woodgate. Another thing several of the people we spoke to - and lots more online - brought up was an increased beeping of horns and near-accidents caused by drivers using the wrong lanes at the complex junction, which connects Blackbird Road, Woodgate, Fosse Road North, Groby Road and Buckminster Road.

In particular, they highlighted the issue of drivers using the middle lane in Blackbird Road to go straight ahead into Fosse Road North - something that was permitted under the old layout, but which no longer applies - instead of turning right onto the A50, as they are supposed to do, causing tempers to flare and near misses to occur. We went to investigate, and witnessed multiple vehicles attempting to "push" their way into the lane of traffic heading - correctly - into Fosse Road North.

READ MORE: Leicester's most confusing junction 'now more confusing' say angry residents and traders

The new rules mean only the far left of the three lanes is for going into Fosse Road North, and there are road signs and markings on the Tarmac - but many people are getting it wrong.

Our video above shows three vehicles in the middle, right-turn-only lane trying to go straight on into Fosse Road North, slowing down the flow of traffic and causing bottlenecks. We also saw some drivers in the middle lane blocking the road, and preventing the vehicles behind them from heading onto the A50, as they waited for a gap to open up and let them in. The problem often causes tempers to flare, according to people who live and work nearby.

Viv James, who works at Booze Stop, said: "People are thinking they can still turn into Fosse Road North from the middle lane but they can't. People are papping their horns and arguing and there's bad language." Commenting on the general situation since the junction was finished, he said business was massively down due to the parking spaces outside his shop being replaced by bike lanes. He said: "It's been a nightmare."

Mriwaan Ibraheem, owner of Huntsman Barbers, said of the new middle lane rule: "It causes loads of confusion the way it's changed - they try to go straight into Fosse Road North but don't realise the lane they're in is now a right-turn only.

"They try to get in and merge, but they can't get it because only one lane goes straight on. They have to give way and people start beeping."

He said that was not the only problem with the junction. "People coming out of the city on Woodgate also try to turn right onto Blackbird Road thinking they still can, so they're causing problems as well," he said, adding that there were more accidents there now than before the upgrade, as well as more beeping of horns.

Our story about people not liking the junction attracted scores of comments, many of them complaining about confusion when using it. One person said: "People still getting in the [wrong] lane to head straight over to Fosse Road. You know people are going to do it, but it’s worse now because it’s expected they are going right up the A50, but no, they slow or block the road and cut in to the left."

Another said: "It's not confusing if you follow the road signs, but nobody does. I've got into no end of arguments with people trying to push their way in on the Fosse Road corner. There are plenty of signs to say which lane to get in, but people think they can push their way in."

Another added: "It needs signage further up Blackbird Road so you can be aware of how the lanes work. By the time you get to the junction its too late and then people are trying to go up Fosse Road when they're in the lanes for Groby Road.

"We use the road regularly to travel to work and have to be extra vigilant now as it is chaos."

A Leicester City Council spokesperson has previously said about the newly upgraded junction: “The new, remodelled Fiveways junction has been designed and modelled by experts to provide a safer route for all users, with improved crossings for pedestrians, protected bike lanes and a less confusing junction arrangement for motorists.

“It will also help improve the reliability of bus services that use this route.

“The junction has been transformed and we know that significant changes of this kind can take time for people to get used to. We will be introducing additional signs, a little further back from the junction, to provide an earlier indication of what lane to be in and this should help address any incidents of motorists cutting in as they get used to the new arrangement.”