U-turn drivers caught in sting in Winnersh

Published: 3 Sep 2013 16:300 comments

“THAT was quick” says PC Paul Bentley, dashing out into the road and directing the driver of a charcoal grey Vauxhall Insignia to pull over.

It has been just two minutes since I arrived at the Showcase Cinema roundabout, in Winnersh Triangle, with officers from the Wokingham neighbourhood police team on an early morning operation to catch irresponsible motorists performing dangerous u-turns.

The scale of the problem becomes clear five minutes later - by which time the lay-by police are using to pull motorists over is chock-a-block with five cars - and over the next two hours, a further twenty one drivers would be slapped with a £50 fine for pulling off the perilous manoeuvre.

The operation, last month (21), came after a tip-off from Wokingham Borough Council, who received complaints from worried pedestrians and cyclists endangered by drivers cutting across their path.

The problem is with drivers approaching the roundabout on the Reading Road, coming from Winnersh, wanting to turn right onto the A3290 towards the motorway.

As a short cut, some are performing sharp 90 degree turns onto the carriageway through the middle of the roundabout rather than going all the way around despite signs telling them not to, often cutting across several lanes of traffic.

PC Bentley said: “A lot of people don’t seem to realise you can’t do it, so we want to get the message out to people that it’s not acceptable, and we want to stop it and change people’s habits before something more serious happens and some one gets injured.

“I’ve had a couple of people saying I’ve seen everyone else doing it so it must be OK, but it’s not.”

Throughout the course of the day the operation was even a catalyst for some domestic strife, with a husband and wife being pulled over in quick succession after one followed the other.

PC Bentley added: “You see a lot of people look and think about it, then see us and decide not to which just proves that people do know they shouldn’t be doing it.

“We’ve also had a couple of times where people slow down to turn in and the cars behind them aren’t expecting it, so we’ve seen some near misses.”

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