AN INCREASE in the volume of traffic using the Black Dam Roundabout could be the reason for more accidents there, according to figures from Highways England.

Responding to a Gazette article about an increase in accidents following an £11 million redesign of the roundabout in 2016, Highways England route manager, Greg Stone, said “safety is our top priority”.

He added that the number of “serious accidents” on the roundabout had reduced following the redesign.

However, this does not take into account the recent crashes this month, with four happening in a 48-hour period.

We revealed that a third of the crashes which have happened on the roundabout in the last 22 years, took place in the four years after the multimillion-pound redesign.

Highways England said that after the layout of the roundabout was changed during 2014 to 2016, there has been an increase in traffic using it.

Traffic count data taken by the Department for Transport shows that between the M3 and Black Dam Roundabout on the A339, the average daily traffic increased from around 46,000 vehicles a day in 2013, to around 55,500 in 2019.

Mr Stone said: “Safety is Highways England's top priority and we continually monitor the safety of all our schemes after they open. Since the Black Dam roundabout project was completed Highways England safety analysis shows that the proportion of serious collisions at the junction has reduced.

“Nevertheless, we recognise concern that has been expressed and will continue to keep the safety of the roundabout under continual review and work with the local community on any future improvements."

Calls have been made for the layout of the roundabout to be changed following a series of crashes this month, including one which left a 70-year-old man with life changing injuries.