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After a week in operation, officials fine-tune traffic management through Kingsway

Workers from GJBS pictured installing back-to-back kerbs along the length of the merge lane onto Devil’s Tower Road for traffic leaving Beach View Terraces. Photos by Eyleen Gomez

A traffic management plan will be put in place to accommodate any build-up of traffic through Kingsway over the Easter weekend, the Gibraltar Government said on Wednesday, as officials fine-tuned arrangements a week after the airport tunnel opened.

The government was reacting after a border queue on Tuesday, the first major delay since Kingsway opened, led to the intermittent closure of the tunnel and tailbacks into Devil’s Tower Road.

Safety protocols mean vehicles are not allowed to queue inside the tunnel when the border flow is slow and queues build up in the frontier loop.

“In preparation for the Easter weekend when traffic volumes are expected to be higher than normal, the RGP, working in conjunction with the tunnel operator and GPMSL, will be deploying the agreed traffic management plan to cater for frontier queues,” No.6 Convent Place said.

“If the queue builds up the two northbound lanes along Kingsway will be separated using traffic cones and vehicles bound for the frontier will be stacked along one of the Devil’s Tower Road eastbound lanes if necessary.”

“The separation of lanes along Kingsway will ensure that one northbound lane will be kept clear at all times for access to the Air Terminal, Four Corners, Eroski and Western Beach and will prevent opportunistic queue jumping.”

“In addition, there is a provision for implementing a contraflow along one of the westbound lanes of Devil’s Tower Road.”

“This will add to the vehicle holding capacity of the eastbound lane should this become necessary.”

“The public is asked to be attentive to the signage and traffic management measures when in the Devil’s Tower Road / Kingsway area and follow the directions provided by traffic officers.”

OTHER TWEAKS

In other developments, workers from GJBS were this week installing back-to-back kerbs along the length of the merge lane onto Devil’s Tower Road for traffic leaving Beach View Terraces.

It follows concerns raised by residents leaving their homes and joining Devil’s Tower Road, particularly at busy times with heavy traffic flow through Kingsway.

“A traffic bollard will be installed at the end of the new line of kerbs,” a spokesperson for No.6 Convent Place told the Chronicle.

“These additions will ensure that vehicles exiting Beach View Terraces have an improved line of sight, do not drive out directly onto Devil’s Tower Road and make full use of the merge lane.”

“There are also modifications being carried out to the traffic island at the access to Beach View Terraces.”

“This will provide vehicles with a larger entry into the garage.”

Officials are also monitoring flow through the pedestrian subway after concerns were raised about bollards installed at either end to deny entry to mopeds and other small vehicles who should not use this route.

The design of the bollards provides difficult access for people on mobility scooters, even though they are spaced out to allow sufficient space for them to get through.

“The bollards are spaced out sufficiently to allow access although these are under constant review and they will be adjusted if required,” the spokesperson for No.6 said.

“All departments are mindful of the Ministry for Equality’s disability strategy.”

“These bollards have been installed in accordance with the requisite British Standards outlined in the Manual for Streets and Inclusive Mobility (UK DfT) guidance, with the intention of preserving the safety of subway users.”

“As with all the infrastructure surrounding the first operational use of this major project, teething issues can be expected.”

“The operators are happy to address concerns and are trialling different formats for the bollards to determine what works best in practice.”

“The bollards can and will be adjusted if subway users require it.”

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