Dangerous staggered junction on A47 prompts a public meeting

15:01 09 January 2014

Councillor Robert McClaren at the A47 Walsoken junction where he wants improvements.

Councillor Robert McClaren at the A47 Walsoken junction where he wants improvements.

Archant

A dangerous staggered junction on the A47 at Wisbech will be the focus of a public meeting this month which aims to gather an army of supporters to push for safety improvements.

Broadend junction, where three people have died, goes under the spotlight to rally help for a safety campaign.

The Highways Agency last year unveiled plans to spend £170,000 at the Broadend Road junction which has been described by a mother whose son died there as “lethal”.

Double white lines are part of the improvements package along with vehicle activated junction warning signing on the approach.

But mother Bridget Wall, whose son Adam died at the junction in a motorbike collision in 2002 and MP Stephen Barclay, believe the money would be better spent on a roundabout.

Mrs Wall has launched an e-petition pushing the government for improvements saying: “There have far been too many needless deaths and injuries over the years at this junction causing suffering and devastation to families.

“Local residents often use another route, even though it makes their journey longer, because the junction is too dangerous to negotiate.

“Roundabouts are recognised as a safe and efficient form of junction. Roundabouts promote safe and efficient traffic flow and are an appropriate solution for staggered junctions experiencing high numbers of collisions.”

MP Steve Barclay has urged the Highways Agency to spend the £170,000 on a roundabout and MPs Henry Bellingham and Liz Truss have met Walsoken residents to discuss their concerns.

In the short-term the Highways Agency ensures drivers have better visibility by trimming back the hedgerows.

Wisbech Town councillor Robert McClaren has led a campaign calling for speed limits to be restricted from 60mph to 40mph and red ‘do not enter’ zones to be marked out on the chevrons.

He has also suggested skid-resistant tarmac, collapsible bollards and a no overtaking zone.

He said: “This junction keeps getting talked about yet the issue keeps getting brushed under the carpet - let’s hope that finally the Walsoken meeting can get everyone together to get something done.”

Walsoken Parish Council has called a public meeting to gather support for an independent action group, tasked with pressing for safety improvements.

Formal invitees include MPs and representatives from local and regional bodies.

“The meeting will not be a forum for in-depth discussion regarding the various development options that have been proposed to date or, indeed, the possible argument against improvement at the junction,” said parish council clerk Annette Williams.

“The meeting is intended solely for those individuals or groups who are in favour of such improvements and may be interested in offering a more active support.”

Teenagers Robert Hostler, 17, and Claire Stubberfield, 19, were the last fatalities at the Walsoken junction in a two-car collision in December 2007.

Motorcyclist Adam Wall died there in 2002.

The public meeting is on Friday January 24 at 7pm at Walsoken Village Hall.

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