SOMETHING needs to be done in the short-term to tackle the A50 in the aftermath of a collision, Uttoxeter’s MP and a business leader have said.
Andrew Griffiths MP and David MacDonald, executive director of Uttoxeter Racecourse, are calling for more to be done on the A50 following a spate of serious collisions in the last month – and have not ruled out the idea of a fly-over.
In this month alone, two men have lost their lives on the A50 and another was left with serious injuries after crashes on the road.
Not only did they have a devastating affect on the families, but residents and businesses were left with the damage as motorists were trapped in the traffic for more than six hours.
Plans for multi-million pound improvements are set to go before planning chiefs next week but, until the work is completed, drivers are still risking their lives when they take to the A50.
Mr Griffiths: “It is very worrying that there has been a marked increase in serious accidents on the A50 in recent months and it is almost a weekly occurrence that we are seeing serious collisions.
“The Highways Agency is investing tens of millions of pounds into the A50 but I do think that more can be done to improve road safety and congestion.
“It was deeply concerning that it took six hours to reopen the A50 after the last crash. This had massive implications on residents and local businesses and I think we need to review what can be done to get the road open quickly.
“I have written to the Highways Agency asking them to investigate the accidents and come back to me with any suggestions of improving the A50 in terms of speed enforcement and road safety.
“We have to balance what can be done with what money they have to spend. We need more details about how the A50 would operate and compliment the improvements that are already taking place in terms of a fly-over.
“It is an option worth looking at if it is going to improve road safety.”
Lorry driver Neil Anthony Adams, 59, of Nottinghamshire, was the first driver this month to be killed on the A50 at Uttoxeter when a crash occurred between the Little Chef roundabout and Blithe Bridge.
Motorists were caught in the tailbacks for more than five hours after police investigated and the road was cleared.
This was followed by Michael James Thompson, 24, a week later after he collided with an HGV. The latest crash occurred on Tuesday when two lorries collided on the Uttoxeter bypass, close to the Little Chef island and a driver was airlifted to hospital seriously hurt.
Again motorists were left trapped in tailbacks for more than six hours.
Now, Mr MacDonald wants a short-term solution to the problem saying it is unacceptable for people to be left trapped in cars for that length of time without food, drink and toilet facilities.
He said: “There needs to be a short-term solution and we are talking weeks not years here. The Highways Agency is saying that £40 million is to be spent on the A50 which is great as we can see something needs to change.
“However, we need something to act as a deterrent now such as speed cameras and visible police cars. I have people coming to me saying their are concerned about their children on there.
“Nothing seems to be done in the short-term, they are all talking about the improvement that will be made but meanwhile people are being killed on the road.”
He added businesses had lost thousands in the latest crashes due to people not being able to get into work.
Mr MacDonald also noted the recent crashes have all included HGVs, saying there had been a noticeable increase in HGVs using the road in the last year as a short cut between the M1 and M6, but they struggled with the roundabouts.
By Jenny Moody (Uttoxeter Post & Times)