ROADS bosses have no plans to introduce extra safety or traffic management measures at a notorious North Ayrshire roundabout - despite concerns from the public.

The Pennyburn roundabout, connecting Stevenston and the rest of the Three Towns with Kilwinning and Irvine, is a perennial sore point for motorists in the area.

An internet search for 'Pennyburn roundabout crash' (or you can replace crash with incident or accident) brings up no shortage of results.

Particular concerns have been raised at the approaching road from the Morrisons side in Stevenston and from the Ashenyards Park development, which includes Costa, the Red Squirrel pub and hotel, KFC and Greggs, from the Kilwinning side.

In fact, on a recent Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald post regarding a new roundabout elsewhere in Ardrossan, a number of readers chose to highlight that this was an "utter waste of time".

Amongst the comments, of which there were more than a hundred, there was a common theme:

  • "Go and change the road layout at KFC."
  • "It's a joke of a layout." (in reply to the above)
  • "Traffic lights needed at the big round about at Morrisons."
  • "I’ve been saying exactly that for years!" (in reply to the above)
  • "You have a bus lane that sits empty most of the time - cars are grid locked at this road."
  • "They shouldn’t spend another penny on roads until they fix the mess that is the Pennyburn roundabout and its approaches."
  • "They should spend some money fixing the road at the far end of Stevenston."

All of which seems to make clear that the topic doesn't even need to be the roundabout itself before concerns are raised about it.

However, the roundabout is managed by Amey, on behalf of Transport Scotland - and the response to concerns is that the data points towards no planned changes.

A spokesperson for Amey explained: "Since 2020 there has been little collision data recorded following strategic road safety improvements implemented on the A78 at Pennyburn roundabout and its approach roads.

"Currently, there are no planned proposals for works of this nature at this location.

"However, all routes are reviewed as part of our annual road safety review report, which highlights locations with personal injury collision levels above intervention level for further investigation."

While the roundabout and the A78 leading to Ardrossan and Irvine is the responsibility of Amey, the other road at the junction, the A738 between Stevenston and Kilwinning, is managed by North Ayrshire Council.

On the Stevenston side of the A738, congestion at peak times can sometimes lead to tailbacks of nearly a mile, beyond the Hawkhill roundabout to the Ardeer services at the Hayocks roundabout.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Traffic tailing back from the Pennyburn Roundabout, past the Hawkhill Roundabout and towards the Ardeer Services.Traffic tailing back from the Pennyburn Roundabout, past the Hawkhill Roundabout and towards the Ardeer Services. (Image: Staff)

The Hawkhill roundabout - which connects Stevenston to the roundabout as well as Hawkhill Drive, the surrounding streets and Morrisons and the Hawkhill retail park - has also sparked concern from locals.

Those worries, similarly, relate to congestion and tailbacks - and also to residents of Hawkhill Drive and the surrounding streets, for whom the Hawkhill roundabout is the only access point to and from their homes.

North Ayrshire Council says that steps have been taken to alleviate some of the congestion - particulary through the use of the bus lanes on approach.

A council spokesperson said: “While we are responsible for the Hawkhill roundabout on the A738, we are aware of traffic tailing back from the Pennyburn roundabout on the A78, which is managed by Transport Scotland.

“We have previously reviewed traffic movements at this location, and introduced alterations to the roundabout to ensure public transport delays are minimised, including opening the bus lanes to taxis.

"Recently, the box junction markings were refreshed to assist traffic flow.

“While there are currently no further alterations planned at this location, we will continue to monitor the situation.”