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Less than 40 per cent of drivers are correctly negotiating a new traffic layout installed to replace its failed predecessor – in a saga that has now cost taxpayers around £110,000.

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The original width restrictions, including traffic islands and bollards, were put in place in Drayton Park, Highbury, to stop lorries using the road as a short cut.

The layout cost £80,000 but the council admitted the scheme was flawed after multiple accidents and ripped the whole thing up before consulting on a new design.

The new set-up, which cost a further £30,000, has been in place for about two weeks but, according to council officers, around 60 per cent of drivers are still struggling to negotiate the road.

The problem has forced the council to suspend penalty notices for infractions at the junction until October 15.

Cllr Terry Stacy, leader of Islington’s opposition Lib Dem group, said: “What should have been a simple way to stop lorries using the road has become a bit of a joke.”

Susan Cannon, 57, who drives through Drayton Park to get to her home in Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park, said: “It’s totally confusing. It seems to have arrows pointing both ways.

“On Sunday morning I drove down it one way, my husband went the other and my son just followed the car in front. We are three different age groups and different walks of life and none of us had any idea. I can’t understand it at all.

“When you drive up to it you have to make a snap decision. It is really badly designed.”

Cllr James Murray, executive member for housing and development on Islington Council, said: “The width restriction at Drayton Park was put in to stop lorries using it as a rat run. It reopened last week following some changes, on which residents and local groups were consulted.

“As with all new traffic schemes it will be reviewed to check it is operating correctly. The council’s usual approach is to give drivers a short period to get used to the new design before enforcement starts.”

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