New car park markings – unhelpful confusion

(If you’re reading this on Facebook, you may have to click through to the Eye’s WordPress page to see what we’re talking about.)

We quite like the smart clean appearance of the revived Main Square car park.  But the painted markings on the roadways leave a lot to be desired.  Consider our first picture – of the northern ‘isle’ of Level 3.  The white ‘turn right’ arrow is too far back – it encourages drivers to ‘cut the corner’, driving over the solid red part of the pedestrian walkway.  This might seem academic, but we realised it when were standing next to the silver car and a large white SUV nearly ran over our feet.  It really was a disturbing experience.  The arrow should be on the other side of the broken red part of the walkway and/or other measures – such as re-routing the walkway – taken to prevent a more serious incident.  (We take this personally – that encounter with the SUV could have been much worse.  A small child might not have stepped backwards as quickly as we did.)

One floor up, Level 4 ‘solves’ the problem by not having a marked footpath across the carriageway at all!

Level 2 confirms the situation.  Rather than a sharp right turn, the floor at the top of the ramp from the level beneath is marked with a curve to the right.  And cars still take full advantage of the walkway…

While you’re looking at that last photo, note the ‘dotted’ walkway across the ramp.  There’s same thing on Level 3 – next photo.

Of course, Level 4 has to be different again…  No walkway across the ramp.

There’s another inconsistency between Levels 2 and 3.  On Level 2, circulating traffic goes up to the extreme eastern end of the car park before turning right, as the next photo shows.  On Level 3, traffic turns right earlier.    But the important difference at the moment is that on Level 2, traffic turning the corner clearly has to give way to ascending traffic (that’s traffic entering from the left-hand edge of our photo), as indicated by the white triangle and broken double white line.  But there’s no such prioritisation on Level 3 – our third photo.  The danger is that ascending traffic, knowing that it had priority on Level 2, might blithely think the same thing applied on Level 3 and – an unnecessary crunch.

Finally (for now!), there’s a ‘spare’ triangle.  Our copy of the Highway Code says that it’s a “Warning of ‘Give Way’ just ahead”.  But there’s no ‘Give Way’ (a dashed line) ahead – apart from the one in front of the triangle even further in front.  Only the regular user can know that the non-existent ‘Give Way’ is (we guess) because there could be traffic on the left that’s intending to leave the car park.  As we’ve said so many times before, signs that are misleading are worse than useless.

Footnote.  If all this confuses you, that is but nothing compared to what it’s done to the Eye!

8 thoughts on “New car park markings – unhelpful confusion

  1. I too had a narrow escape twice last week with people cutting the corner, at the time it didn’t occur to me that they were following the arrow so precisely and not using their common sense!

  2. The red ‘striped’ walkways linking the pedestrian areas, are these to be treated like zebra crossings – pedestrians having right of way – or were they painted just to advise pedestrians of the ‘safest’ place to cross? Whichever is the ‘correct’ interpretation how are the drivers and pedestrians supposed to know? What happens in the event of an accident, who is deemed to be ‘in the wrong’?

  3. Completely agree with the Eye…This car park is still very dangerous for pedestrians, but has been improved for parking with the bigger bays for Chelsea Tractors. Brilliant photos which really show the nonsense….Hope the owners take note!

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