Turnoffs along Castle Peak Road will be blocked because police consider them dangerous - though the transport minister insists they are safe. Drivers using the turnoffs have to make a right turn from the fast lane of the highway into the path of oncoming traffic travelling at 70km/h. The five turnoffs were built at local residents' request to save them having to go an extra 2km to a roundabout and double back to reach their homes during construction work to make the road a dual carriageway. But it emerged yesterday that police were not consulted about their design and had serious reservations about their safety. In a meeting with highway officials two weeks ago, Chief Superintendent Blake Hancock, the head of the traffic police, said that allowing vehicles to turn into the path of oncoming traffic travelling at 70km/h was unacceptable. Even reducing the speed limit to 50km/h would not greatly improve safety, he said. The gaps in the central divider would encourage jaywalking, and loitering by minibuses looking for passengers, and extra police manpower would be needed to control this, Mr Hancock said. He said the road's design had enough roundabouts to cater for residents' needs. Mr Hancock's objections were disclosed by Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works Sarah Liao Sau-tung in response to a question from legislator Emily Lau Wai-hing. Dr Liao said transport officials had been planning to gazette the temporary exits as permanent but had abandoned this plan in view of police concerns. She insisted, however, that reviews by the highways authorities showed the turnoffs met basic safety requirements and provided adequate sight distance for motorists. She said similar junctions could be found on other dual carriageways in the city. Dr Liao said such turnoffs would only be built where traffic conditions permit and it is safe. Highways officials said they would seal off the exits when construction work, which began in 2001, ends in the next few weeks.