A joint post from Kate King, Lib Dem candidate for Burnell in the May Shropshire Council elections, and Andy Boddington, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow North.
Local representatives are calling for a greater priority for safety on the roads of a county where traffic speeds are above the national average. New government statistics show that only eight council areas in England achieved faster speeds on A roads than Shropshire in 2015. In 2015 also, statistics reveal that more than half the injuries on the county’s roads were on A roads (423 of 796 injuries).
Kate and Andy are calling for improvements to safety on the A49. They think that we don’t need to drive any faster, we should concentrate on reducing deaths and cutting injuries.
“I live in Dorrington. The A49 passes straight through the middle of the village. A new pedestrian crossing has improved things but we still have problems. We have narrow pavements. It can be scary when big trucks go past, particularly for mothers with pushchairs. Drivers heading south speed up before the end of the 30mph speed limit, meaning they are speeding as they pass very narrow pavements leading to a new housing development. We are also concerned that lorries race through the village in the middle of the night.
“We need more measures to cut speeding and aggressive driving. We should put up signs at either end of Dorrington asking drivers to be considerate and take care when passing pedestrians on our narrow pavements.
“Ideally, we need wider pavements through the village.”
“I am always hearing people moan about the slow speed of the A49 or the A5. These new statistics show that traffic is flowing faster in this county than most other areas of the country. The aim should not be to drive faster but to drive more safely. We need to cut the number of accidents on the A49 and other roads in the county.
“There have been several improvements to road safety, including reducing the speed limit through Bromfield village to 50mph. It has been shown across the country that reducing speed limits often leads to most drivers getting to their destination quicker. Lower speed limits also improve safety. We should make greater use of them on our county’s A roads.”
New government statistics show that only eight council areas in England achieved faster speeds on A roads than Shropshire in 2015. The fastest area to drive is Rutland, where people flash from one side of the county to the other at a dizzying 41.7 miles an hour. Our neighbour, Telford and Wrekin checks in second at 39.5 mph. Shropshire is at ninth place, with 35.6 mph, well above the national average of 25.2 mph.
In 2015 also, statistics reveal that more than half the injuries on the county’s roads were on A roads (423 of 796 injuries). The most recent health profile data from Public Health England for 2016 states that Shropshire is “significantly worse” than the national average for people killed or seriously injured on the roads. The county has not once been better than the national average since the health profile data was formally launched in 2007.
From 2012 to 2016, there were 27 serious and 9 fatal accidents om the A49 between Dorries Island and Woofferton on the Herefordshire border (source: crashmap.co.uk).