Drivers are complaining that their cars are being damaged and written off after being caught in a controversial bus lane trap.
Dozens of motorists have found their cars stuck in the trap, with some saying it’s not clearly signposted.
There are two no entry signs, a warning triangle that says ‘car trap’, two sets of huge lettering on the road that say ‘GUIDED BUS ONLY’, and red tarmac.
The trap is located at the junction of Station Road and Harrison Way in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, and is designed to prevent vehicles driving onto the busway.
The pit in the road is wide enough that small vehicles fall into it but small enough that larger-diameter-wheeled vehicles, such as buses, may pass.
But some locals are now complaining that the trap is a hazard with up to five motorists getting stuck every week. The local council disputes this saying they have records of 60 cars getting trapped in 12 years.
The daughter of a motorist recently caught in the trap, who wishes to remain anonymous, says the incident has left both her parents ‘shaken and traumatised’.
Their vehicle was seriously damaged in the drop, and they are finding out if it is repairable or a write off.
She claims her father was one of five drivers who ended up in the trap last week.
He is in his 80s, but she insists he is a competent driver who misunderstood the exit signs leading out of a car park
She said: ‘He somehow ended up back in the same car park again.
‘He said the signage was poor and if he exited the same way, he’d end up doing the same thing.
‘So he went a different way and ended up in the car trap.
‘We know of someone in their 20s who has also gone into the trap – you can’t argue this is because of my father’s age.
‘Considering the number of incidents, there must be another way to manage the junction that doesn’t cause this much damage to vehicles.’
Philippa Parker drove into the trap which, she claims, was full of weeds last summer and complained to the council.
She also argues poor signposting leading up to the trap is what led to the incident.
Philippa, from Wiltshire, said: ‘The signs were totally inadequate.
‘Motorists were driving up to the junction while we were waiting for the recovery.
‘If we weren’t there, they would’ve made the same mistake.
‘The abuse and awful language people were shouting as they passed us was also shocking.
‘It left us with a very bad impression of St Ives afterwards.’
Cllr Kevin Reynolds from Cambridgeshire County Council has admitted he has little sympathy for the drivers who get stuck.
He said: ‘If people driving along that road cannot see a big hole in the ground in front of them then I would argue they wouldn’t be able to see a small child.
‘I would question whether they should be behind the wheel at all…’
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