A PETITION aimed at improving the safety at a junction, described as “an accident waiting to happen”, has been launched.

There are calls for the traffic light pattern to be changed at the Cross Keys cross-road junction in Chadwell St Mary.

Currently, traffic going in opposite directions are allowed to cross the junction at the same time, meaning that drivers are having to run the gauntlet when turning right or left.

The junction is particularly dangerous for traffic coming from the Orsett Cock direction down Brentwood Road and turning right onto River View.

Peter Saunders, the chairman of the Chadwell St Mary community forum, is behind calls for the junction, which forms part of several important routes through the borough, to be made safer.

He said: “If you’re coming down from the Orsett Cock roundabout and turning right, you can’t see what’s coming up the hill.

“People end up stranded there and having to take a chance.

“I’ve had one or two near misses there myself. It only takes one person to be a bit gung-ho coming up the hill. It’s an accident waiting to happen.”

“One solution is to have a mini-roundabout there instead. The other way would be to put filters in so that traffic is filtered through.”

Highway inspectors looked at the junction two years ago and decided there was no problem with safety at the cross roads, but Mr Saunders said they came at a quiet time.

The enforcement camera trained down Chadwell Hill also makes the junction more dangerous, according to residents.

Motorists unable to see what’s coming up the hill before the light has changed from green to red have ended up stranded in the middle of the junction and been caught by the camera as they then make their turn.

Mr Saunders added: “It seems to us that there are people who won’t use the junction at all if they can avoid it. It’s too much of a hazard, particularly when traffic is quite heavy.”

Anyone who wishes to sign the petition should email info@chadwellcf.org.uk or call 07926361002.