Motorists have criticised the new road layout at an M4 junction in Wiltshire warning that the changes are “dangerous” and “confusing”.

The road layout at junction 17 of the M4 has changed for those approaching on the A350 from Chippenham, with the left-hand lane now only for the M4 heading West.

This has come as part of a roundabout widening scheme being carried out by developers St Modwen Logistics, who built a new industrial park near the junction.

The changes were first introduced in October and have since caused debate and confusion.

Despite the installation of temporary signage warning drivers on the weekend of Saturday, November 4, many have continued to criticise the layout.

Prior to these additions, Steven Pope, an HGV driver of 26 years from Chippenham, told this paper the changes could cause accidents.

Wiltshire Times: The works at the roundabout in MayThe works at the roundabout in May (Image: Trevor Porter)

The 56-year-old said: “There is the potential for more confusion every morning going up the A350.

“People aren’t realising and there could be side-on collisions, it’s concerning and I’m conscious of people cutting across me when I use it.”

These views were echoed by Cllr Liz Alstrom who wrote to Wiltshire Council after receiving messages from concerned residents.

She added: “(The) lack of clear signage has caused a number of very near misses at the junction by confused drivers.

“Although I have been informed some temporary yellow ones have now been placed near the junction, I have requested that proper permanent signage showing the new changes is installed.”

The development has caused debate on social media with some labelling the changes “dangerous” and others urging road users to pay attention to the signage.

Wiltshire Times: junction 17 on the A350junction 17 on the A350 (Image: Newsquest)

One driver, who has used the junction for over 15 years, said: “I fear that if I use the right lane on the approach that fellow drivers may block me from moving across.

“Even worse, an accident or road rage.”

Another local added: “They have now put yellow signs up, but people are still getting in the M4 lane and going over to Stanton. It’s so dangerous. There will be an accident there soon.”

Motorists approaching the junction heading South on the A429 from Malmesbury have also reported confusion when navigating the roundabout.

The council admitted it may take time for motorists to adapt to the changes.

Council leader Cllr Richard Clewer said: “We understand people may have concerns whenever a new road layout is installed, and it always takes some time for people to get used to it.

“We have worked with the developer, National Highways and our engineering consultant Atkins to progress the works to this junction, which are nearing completion.

“Before undertaking these works the junction was subject to traffic modelling to determine the most efficient lane allocation, which resulted in the current arrangement with the northbound A350 left-hand lane solely allocated to accessing the M4 westbound.

Wiltshire Times: The works at the junction in MayThe works at the junction in May (Image: Trevor Porter)

“Following feedback and reports of drivers using the left-hand lane seeking to continue straight-on to the A429, we have sought to address this with additional temporary signage. Further permanent signage will be erected in due course.”

Cllr Clewer emphasised that the council is confident the current layout is the most effective option, but added this will be subject to ongoing review once works are complete.

He added: “The new junction layout is considered the most efficient solution for the new development and whilst we understand the concerns raised, as the signs and layout become more established, we believe concerns will diminish and local drivers will begin to accept the change.

“However, the junction scheme will be subject to ongoing review and the Road Safety Audit process, which will directly consider the issues raised and may suggest possible further interventions.”

St Modwen was approached for comment.