Wirral's top-ten Horror Highways are driving us round the bend!

St James Roundabout, Birkenhead North

St James Roundabout, Birkenhead North

First published in News
Last updated

Welcome back, Horror Highways.

Each year, the Globe had a habit of compiling a light-hearted top-ten of Wirral's most frustrating roads and traffic junctions.

And now the list is back.

We've updated a few and reprised some fine classics.

See if you agree with us and if not, let us know.

Or even better, tell us about your top Horror Highways.

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NO 1 - Hoylake Road, Moreton

We have absolutely nothing against chip shops or sofa stores. Indeed, we have been known to sit on our own sofas while scoffing bags of chips.

But that doesn't mean we want to spend aching eons of time each morning and each evening sat in the car glaring darkly at the same said shops while waiting for the traffic to start moving through Moreton Cross.

For a council who happily removed the perfectly good and efficient roundabout at Arrowe Park, why can't it finally get rid of this one and Make. The. Darn. Traffic. Move?

NO 2 - Arrowe Park Junction

Since we're talking about Arrowe Park, let's get back to this monument to highways planning at its finest.

All hail Wirral's most obvious example of what can happen when planners quite clearly run out of useful things to do.

We're willing to bet the person responsible for this has never even driven a car - and probably moved here from Liverpool in a deliberate attempt to undermine our pleasant peninsula way of life.

NO 3 - A41 New Chester Road

In the United States, there are apparently advertisements for budding new rodeo riders advising them to hone their lurching skills by jumping on a plane, hiring a car, and then driving up and down the traffic light-laden mess that is the A41, stopping and starting so frequently that those all-important lower discs in the spine can get toughened up to prepare them for the comparatively easy task of riding a crazed bull.

NO 4 - Hamilton Square

Each weekday morning, thousands of vehicles stand idling at traffic lights around Price Street, Laird Street and Argyle Street, belching out their carbon footprints into the lungs of passing pedestrians while motorists sit brooding in their cars, wondering why they are stuck behind six empty buses.

Yet since the Square first made our list in 2007, there has been some progress. At least they've scrapped the bus lanes. Doh!

NO 5 - Argyle Street

Welcome to The Mystery That Is The Lights That Don't Work Properly.

Those of you who share the deep misfortune of having to try to navigate your way through Birkenhead will probably at one time or another found yourself wondering why it is that this set of lights only turns to green for enough time to allow a supersonic jet to pass through at Mach 2, before hurriedly switching themselves back to red again.

NO 6 - Mersey Tunnels

Tunnel entrances, both of them. Because what we all really want to do is spend our lives inhaling petrol fumes as one of the lanes is always closed "for maintenance."

Or you get there in a hurry and find most of the toll booths are closed. Funnily enough, that often seems to happen when Liverpool are playing at home. Could an Evertonian be in charge?

NO 7 - Millhouse Lane

Because it's about a metre too narrow to comfortably allow cars to pass on the inside, anyone taking a right hand turn from Hoylake Road into Millhouse Lane risks incurring the wrath of motorists stranded helplessly behind them, their knuckles white with repetitive tension and their minds alive with thoughts of ballistic missiles and cauldrons brimful with boiling oil.

NO 8 - Market St, Hoylake

"I know," they said. "Let's test the patience of the hapless residents of one of our seaside towns by ripping up the pavements, introducing bizarre on-road parking areas that have helpfully high kerbs apparently designed on purpose to burst tyres, narrow the driving area so there are constant jams throughout the day, and make it physically impossible to make a right hand turn towards the promenade without causing a tailback that stretches so far back that drivers leaving the M58 near Ormskirk shriek with congestion frustration, too."

NO 9 - Bidston bypass/Aldi traffic lights

A new addition to Horror Highways. Endless queues, traffic lights perpetually set at red. Frustration, depression. It was all so predictable. A modern classic.

NO 10 - St James, Birkenhead

Ah yes, the old favourite - and like a bad wine (or grumpy reporters), it gets worse with age.

Light-controlled filter lanes allow you to dreamily "filter" halfway across the junction then (with what we imagine to be a malevolent grin) they turn to red.

Instant panic!

You're stuck in the middle blocking the path of equally puzzled/furious drivers coming in the opposite direction - no way forward, no way back.

The old roundabout worked perfectly well; yes, there'd be the odd queue building up at rush hour.

But the powers that be successfully managed to turn a small problem into a BIG problem.

Fine work.

Special Mention -  And finally, how about a tremendous pat on the back for whoever thought turning off our street lights would be a good idea - and another for the councillors who agreed with them.

Having recently found the the cash to fit Wallasey Town Hall with a new £25,000 carpet and a splendid £800,000 staircase, they still insist it's absolutely essential to save money by plunging dangerous and busy thoroughfares into darkness.

Seems odd to us.

The Bidston to Moreton bypass is particularly treacherous, but the stretch from Saughall Massie to Three Lanes End - surrounded by pitch black countryside - is like driving with your eyes shut and a bag on your head.

*** *** *** ***

So there we are.

We all feel better now, having got that off our chests.

Do you agree with our list?

If you're so minded, you can leave your comment below...

Comments (6)

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2:07pm Thu 13 Mar 14

ballacrain says...

I feel the problem at Moreton Cross is the Pelican lights that are situated on top of the roundabout. Would cost a lot but either underpasses or overhead walkways would be far more suitable for this junction.

Ballacrain
I feel the problem at Moreton Cross is the Pelican lights that are situated on top of the roundabout. Would cost a lot but either underpasses or overhead walkways would be far more suitable for this junction. Ballacrain ballacrain
  • Score: 6

2:34pm Thu 13 Mar 14

JohnON says...

I think the road markings on the Clatterbridge roundabout (M53 Junction 4) deserve a mention.

Especially for drivers who don't use the junction much, the lane markings don't give enough time to get in the proper lane - in closely packed traffic, you can't even see the lane markings - and, at busy times, aggressive drivers can easily force you to take a route you didn't intend!
I think the road markings on the Clatterbridge roundabout (M53 Junction 4) deserve a mention. Especially for drivers who don't use the junction much, the lane markings don't give enough time to get in the proper lane - in closely packed traffic, you can't even see the lane markings - and, at busy times, aggressive drivers can easily force you to take a route you didn't intend! JohnON
  • Score: 14

10:20pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Llamedos 1 says...

Both the above comments are very valid and emphasises the lack of expertise
within WBC`s planning department or whoever decides these schemes.
Both the Arrow Park and St James` roundabouts are similar abortions and are typical of the buffoons paid small fortunes of our money entrenched in the Clown Hall. Why have they not installed traffic lights at the exit of Woodchurch on to Ford Road.....got to be one of the worst junctions on the Wirral....but hey ho, who are we, we know nothing.
Both the above comments are very valid and emphasises the lack of expertise within WBC`s planning department or whoever decides these schemes. Both the Arrow Park and St James` roundabouts are similar abortions and are typical of the buffoons paid small fortunes of our money entrenched in the Clown Hall. Why have they not installed traffic lights at the exit of Woodchurch on to Ford Road.....got to be one of the worst junctions on the Wirral....but hey ho, who are we, we know nothing. Llamedos 1
  • Score: 3

1:54am Fri 14 Mar 14

Wirralrob says...

Kim Jong Un, Wirral Council Chief Planner ordered the entire newsroom shot at dawn. RIP Journos.

:o(
Kim Jong Un, Wirral Council Chief Planner ordered the entire newsroom shot at dawn. RIP Journos. :o( Wirralrob
  • Score: 0

2:41pm Mon 17 Mar 14

johnhardaker says...

Have you ever traversed the B5151 from mount road to Clatterbridge Hospital & been one of the lucky four cars at a time allowed through the lights especially at between 8,20 & 8.40 in the morning & between 5.00 & 6.00 in the evening well whoever devised the light sequence obviously does not travel this route otherwise he would do something about it.
Have you ever traversed the B5151 from mount road to Clatterbridge Hospital & been one of the lucky four cars at a time allowed through the lights especially at between 8,20 & 8.40 in the morning & between 5.00 & 6.00 in the evening well whoever devised the light sequence obviously does not travel this route otherwise he would do something about it. johnhardaker
  • Score: -1

6:11pm Mon 17 Mar 14

CHB says...

Get ou of the car and get on a bike. You'll sail past the frustrated motorists, get some exercise and save the planet!
Get ou of the car and get on a bike. You'll sail past the frustrated motorists, get some exercise and save the planet! CHB
  • Score: -1

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