More than 100 near misses as drivers try to reverse out of wrong lane

The Humber Bridge
The Humber Bridge
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More than 100 “near misses” have been recorded on the Humber Bridge as drivers try to reverse out of the wrong lane or do “dangerous” U-turns.

The Humber Bridge Board has recorded seven minor accidents as well as 134 near misses since May 25.

Of the near misses, three-quarters (102) are a result of drivers being unsure about which lane they should be in as they approach the toll booths or the new “open road” system.

The majority have involved drivers reversing out of one lane to drive into another, but in 14 incidents motorists reversed or did a U-turn before driving back against the flow of traffic to the A164/A15/A1105 roundabout on the northbound approach.

The open road system, which was introduced in 2015, allows people to pay tickets electronically via the HumberTag website.

The number of toll booths was cut from six to three in each direction and two free flow lanes created to allow drivers using electronic tags to cross without stopping at 30mph.

A new report to the bridge board says new signage has been installed on the approach from the A164/A15/A1105 roundabout.

However so far this month there have been four near misses on the southbound carriageway and three on the northbound, as drivers reverse, while two others performed a U turn to drive back to the roundabout.

Humber Bridge Board member Coun Sean Chaytor said board members were shocked when they first saw the figures, but steps were being taken to address the problem.

Coun Chaytor said: “The issue is a cause of significant concern to the board and officers of the Bridge Board have started to take steps to address it. Sometimes it is people who have never been before who suddenly realise they are in the wrong lane. It is something we will be taking further advice on and further steps.”

The report notes the two U-turn incidents earlier this month. It adds: “To help mitigate this, we will be working with both East Riding of Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire Council to review advance Humber Bridge signing to ensure it is clear the Humber Bridge is a ‘Toll’ bridge.

“In addition to the signs which will reinforce the message ‘no reversing’ and ‘no U turns’’ we will provide clear signage to allow non-Toll traffic to safely exit the southbound Toll Plaza area.”

Meanwhile minutes of a meeting earlier this year reveal that the bridge is working with Hull University on the feasibility of erecting “suicide barriers.”There’s been a campaign for safety measures by the parents of Will Shaw, 14, who jumped to his death in 2014.

There were concerns that the upgrading of the bridge in July to Grade One could hamper efforts to find a solution. But the minute says chief executive Kevin Moore had been liaising with English Heritage and “he believed they would be sympathetic to any proposals.” The Chief Engineer at the listed Forth Road Bridge, also a UNESCO Heritage site, “had explained how health and safety took precedence.”