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Traffic experts float new Britannia roundabout overhaul

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Traffic experts are suggesting a new overhaul of the notorious Britannia roundabout intersection, which remains one of the state’s worst crossroads for serious crashes despite a major redevelopment in 2013.

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The intersection remains a major black spot with the second-highest number of casualty crashes of any crossroads in South Australia, according to a new report produced for the Adelaide City Council by its staff.

It shows no discernible difference in the number of casualty crashes before and after the 2013 redevelopment that converted the notorious single roundabout into a double roundabout, at a cost of $3.2 million.

According to a Department of Transport fact sheet on the upgrade, there were 51 casualty crashes at the Britannia roundabout in the five years to 2011.

The 2013 redevelopment “will … reduce casualty crashes by up to 23 per cent,” it reads.

However, the same number of casualty crashes (51) occurred at the Britannia roundabout in the five years to 2016, the council staff report says.

The report suggests grade separation – installing an overpass or an underpass – may be needed to make the intersection safer.

“The roundabout was upgraded in 2013, however the crash rate is still significantly above the national average for roundabout intersections,” the staff report says.

“It has the second highest number of casualty crashes of any intersection in SA, with 47 casualty crashes at the major roundabout and four at the minor roundabout in the five-year 2012-2016 period.

“Grade separation options could be considered.”

Britannia roundabout is on a shortlist of six troubled city ring route intersections identified in the staff report, which will be presented to an Adelaide City Council meeting tomorrow night.

The report recommends potential improvements to intersections at South Road/Richmond Road, Richmond Road/Railway Terrace/Croydon Road, Fitzroy Terrace/Prospect Road, James Congdon Drive between Port Road and Richmond Road, and Port Road between Park Terrace and James Congdon Drive.

It also warns that almost half of the 26 sections of road which make up the city ring route are over capacity at peak times.

Congestion on the ring route has often been blamed for increased traffic through the CBD.

Speaking about the Britannia roundabout upgrade in 2013, then-Premier Jay Weatherill described it as a “practical solution” that avoided high-cost of grade separations and also avoided encroaching on the park lands.

“Engineers have devised a solution that does not require costly underpasses, overpasses or new roads that would cut a swathe through the park lands,” he said at the time.

The SA Liberal Party had proposed a $12 million plan to install traffic lights at the intersection ahead of the 2010 election.

Transport Minister Stephan Knoll has not responded to InDaily’s request for comment.

A DPTI spokesperson told InDaily on Monday afternoon that: “The Britannia Roundabout Upgrade Project was designed to improve road safety and achieve traffic efficiency improvements.”

“Council met with DPTI in regards to their report on City Ring Route and efficiency of traffic movement.

“There will be ongoing discussions between Council and DPTI around improving efficiency in and around the City.

“Any improvements would be subject to prioritisation of funding.”

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