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Newbury MP calls for action over A34 safety

Recommendations from Highways England study should be implemented, says Richard Benyon

Chris Ord

Reporter:

Chris Ord

Email:

chris.ord@newburynews.co.uk

Newbury MP calls for action over A34 safety

NEWBURY MP Richard Benyon has said a previous Highways England study on the A34 should be fully implemented to improve safety, while a wider review of the dangers of the road must also be carried out.

Mr Benyon was speaking following a meeting with neighbouring MPs, Ed Vaizey, MP for Didcot and Wantage, and Nicola Blackwood, MP for Oxford West and Abingdon.

They are calling for improvements on the dual carriageway which runs through their three constituencies.

All three MPs will meet with roads minister John Hayes in the coming weeks as part of a campaign for urgent action to improve safety on the A34.

Safety on the trunk road has been highlighted following a number of fatal accidents, including an eight-vehicle pile-up on August 10 which claimed the lives of 45-year-old mother Tracey Houghton, her two sons Ethan and Josh,  aged 13 and 11, and her partner’s 11-year-old daughter Aimee Goldsmith.

And, just two weeks later, three-year-old Isla Wiggin and her unborn baby brother died in a crash at Hinksey Hill in Oxfordshire.

The recent fatalities prompted the founding of the A34 Action Group calling for safety improvements, while a petition, which has so far gained more than 2,000 signatures, is calling for a reduction in the speed limit along the dangerous stretch of road.

Mr Benyon said the issue of safety has been ignored for too long on the vital trunk road and the MPs would be pressing for all the relevant authorities to step up and take responsibility for making the necessary improvements as soon as possible.

Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News this week, Mr Benyon said: “A feasibility study that Highways England carried out suggested some improvements that have yet to be done.

“One of them is a traffic management system, which, in principle, would mean installing electronic signage telling people when and where there are delays so they can manage their journeys.

“It also recommended improvements to various access points on the road.

“The no-brainer is the study should be fully implemented, and a wider review of how this road is managed and its safety should be carried out. 

“My own gut feeling is there are various points where there are safety issues – like the access on the south to north at East Ilsley is an area of concern – and speed on certain parts of it.

“It’s a straight road but it’s narrow, there are a lot of cars and HGVs driving too fast so it does need better management.

“It needs all of us to be aware that it’s a very dangerous road.”

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Article comments

  • NewburyDenizen

    21/09/2016 - 14:02

    given the average quality of driving around newbury, I'm not surprised at all there are fatalities. So many drivers around here seem to think indicators are optional extras that were never installed on their vehicles.

    Reply

  • victor

    18/09/2016 - 11:11

    The access points should include the removal of the tapered length once the access road meets the A34. This should have a straight length of normal road before the start of a taper length. Some access points do have this. What I would like to know is what the main causes of accidents are. I have not come across any reports of these accidents. Were any of the accidents near the access roads? People tend to automatically blame speeding HGV drivers. I have not encountered any of these exceeding the 60 mph limit. I drove north yesterday and, had my car on cruise control at 70, counted the number of cars which overtook me. 30 did so. This was early Sat morning. More than this do so during the week. I will check this on Wednesday the next time I drive north. Speed cameras wont be much use as drivers will slow down when they see one then exceed the speed soon after. One needs a length of average speed cameras

    Reply

    • Blizzard

      18/09/2016 - 22:10

      I've ridden my bike up doing 60 in lane 1 or as I like to call it "The bike lane". Very very often there is a truck in lane 1 miles away so everyone sits in lane 2. So many distractions for drivers. Main one is reading text. See that every few cars now. Lack of funding for road police.

      Reply

  • PointOfView

    17/09/2016 - 19:07

    You could implement a 50 MPH speed limit on every dual carriageway in the country and nothing would change. Bad drivers cause accidents. Tailgating, swerving, intimidating other drivers. So, how do we mange bad drivers?

    Reply

  • PointOfView

    17/09/2016 - 19:07

    You could implement a 50 MPH speed limit on every dual carriageway in the country and nothing would change. Bad drivers cause accidents. Tailgating, swerving, intimidating other drivers. So, how do we mange bad drivers?

    Reply

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