Written by ROB SMYTH
‘LIVES have been saved because of this commonsense decision’.
These are the words of Burton’s overjoyed MP as he revealed highways chiefs had given the go-ahead to vital safety changes on the A38.
Andrew Griffiths expressed his delight after learning that the Highways Agency decided to reject the opposition of only three people and push through the £140,000 scheme, which will see dangerous gaps closed and the speed limit reduced along the stretch from Branston to Barton under Needwood.
The parliamentarian, pictured, moved to thank everyone who had backed the bid for change, and said the move would ‘go a long way’ to improving conditions on the accident-plagued road.
Work is set to begin ‘immediately’ after road chiefs said the scheme ‘could not wait any longer’.
Mr Griffiths said: “This was a long and hard-fought campaign and I am delighted with our victory. This will be a decision that will improve road safety on the A38 and save lives.
“I would like to thank every single person and organisation that supported our bid for change right up until this momentous day.
“I am so pleased that the Highways Agency deemed this is a vital scheme and one that needed to be put in place.
“You will never prevent all accidents but I have no doubt that we will see a reduction as a result of the implementation of this scheme.”
Work on the safety scheme was set to start in January only to be halted after three residents who live along the A38 voiced their disapproval at the road project.
They claimed that the measures would increase their travel time to and from their homes as well as seeing the amount they have to pay for fuel rise.
The need for changes to the road layout came about after the death of two sisters along the stretch of road in 2012.
A spokesman for the Highways Agency said: “Following careful consideration of safety benefits the safety scheme will deliver, and consideration of the objections raised by the three objectors, the agency has decided to overrule these objections and proceed with the scheme.
“The agency is now preparing to deliver the scheme to close all four gaps in the central reservation and introduce a 60 mph speed limit.”