ROAD chiefs have revealed that major safety improvements to an accident-plagued section of the A38 have been brought forward for a second time due to ‘public safety’ concerns.
The Highways Agency revealed the new 60mph speed limit between the Branston and Barton junctions would now be in place in March after being pushed through quicker than predicted in a bid to reduce the amount of incidents along the road.
Burton’s MP Andrew Griffiths also revealed that following the roll-out of the changes, which also includes the closure of the all four gaps in the central reservation, and if the reduced speed limit is a success similar changes could also be put in place along other stretches of the carriageway.
He told the Mail: “I am delighted to see that the work to improve safety and save lives on the A38 for is set to begin sooner then expected.
“It is fair to say that this work is vital to keeping people safe on the road and will have a major impact when fully in place by March next year.
“The need for such change was brought into start focus when a man lost his life while using the A38 only last week.”
Van driver Christopher Shaun Parrish died on Monday afternoon after his vehicle crashed into a lorry on the southbound carriageway between Clay Mills and Branston.
Mr Griffiths added: “I am glad that the Highways Agency has recognised the need to start this work quickly. When the new speed level is in place, I and the agency will be monitoring the impact that the change has and, if it is a success, would possibly look towards extending the speed limit reduction to different parts of the A38.”
The proposals, which were given the green light in August, came about after the death of two sisters last year resulted in a joint campaign by the Mail and Burton’s MP Andrew Griffiths to put improve safety on the road.
The scheme will cost £140,000 and begin in January 2014.
A spokesman from the Highways Agency said: “The A38 scheme has a projected completion date of March 2014.
“We are pressing ahead with the scheme because of the potential safety benefits that will result.”