Blackwall residents fear that planned upgrades to the West Tamar Highway near Exeter will make a busy intersection more unsafe, and claim that a roundabout is the only way to fix the problem.
The Department of Transport plans to widen the highway between Rosevears Drive and Gravelly Beach Road, seal its shoulders, add a footpath and add improved sightlines.
The plans also include a right-turn lane from the highway into Gravelly Beach Road.
But residents who use the West Tamar Highway-Gravelly Beach Road intersection, on the southern approach to Exeter, believe the funds would be better spent building a roundabout to solve safety issues once and for all, with the right-turn towards Exeter the most difficult.
Gayle Bell is among the nearby residents to be involved in a crash at the intersection, when a driver approached too fast from the south and collided with the rear of her car.
She suffered leg injuries, and said using the intersection daily put locals' safety at risk.
"It came flying around the bend," Ms Bell said.
"It's impossible to turn right towards Exeter as well, especially around 4pm in the afternoon when the sun shines right down into your eyes.
"It's just not safe."
At just a few days' notice, more than 40 nearby residents came to the intersection to discuss safety concerns on Monday morning and to oppose the upcoming roadworks.
They all claimed they were not consulted on the upgrades, but residents closer to Rosevears were consulted.
Safety issues varied, but resident unanimous: roundabout needed
Like most Gravelly Beach Road residents, Lesley Gillies has to use the intersection almost every day.
She said the roadworks appear to miss the point.
"It's like they've got it all wrong, thinking the problem was turning right in. But the problem is getting out," Ms Gillies said.
"I've had a few close calls turning right towards Exeter because the bend is so close to the intersection."
Bruce Bell regularly drives both trucks and cars through the intersection, and said there were issues either way.
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"You see them come down the hill from Exeter, you go to move, then they come flying around the corner from the other direction," he said.
"In a normal car you just can't see what's coming.
"In a truck, it's harder to get going quicker."
Lee Freestone said the camber on the intersection made it more dangerous, and an inexperienced driver had gone through the fence.
"The camber on the intersection makes it difficult on a wet day. When you go to take off, sometimes you can't avoid spinning the wheels," he said.
"If you put in a roundabout, everyone would want to slow down on the approach."
Residents carried out their own traffic counting exercise and counted 2500 vehicles per day turning in and out of Gravelly Beach Road.
State Growth stands by highway upgrade plans
The Department of State Growth has defended its consultation and design plans, believing it will result in safety improvements.
The department engaged with West Tamar Council and with residents on the highway closer to Rosevears.
The plans were put on public display for two weeks in Beaconsfield and Riverside, and promoted online, on social media and in newspapers.
MORE ON GRAVELLY BEACH: Foreshore set for upgrades, but is it ambitious enough?
Letters were also sent to residents, however Gravelly Beach Road residents were not included.
A spokesperson for State Growth said the reality of the intersection - which has nearby powerlines, houses, vegetation and a stone wall - meant a roundabout was not seen as feasible.
"The road corridor in this section of the Highway is constrained with a number of services, proximity of adjoining residences and terrain, and therefore a roundabout was not considered at this location," he said.
"This project will improve safety at the Gravelly Beach Road intersection by adding a right turn lane at the intersection and making adjustments on either side of the intersection to improve sight distance.
"Final design works are progressing, with construction works expected to start in Spring 2020 on the four priority projects on the West Tamar Highway."