Wed, 26 Jun 2019
ALMOST 300 people have signed a petition calling for a dangerous junction on the A4 at Beenham to be made safer by installing a roundabout.
A plea was made to councillors last week to make improvements to the crossing before an accident happens.
The junction – pictured right – is close to housing and a hotel and lies within a 50mph speed limit.
However, it is just metres away from the national speed limit.
Beenham resident Lesley McEwen presented the petition to West Berkshire Council executive committee at a meeting last Thursday.
Mrs McEwen told councillors that traffic coming from the village wanting to head towards Newbury or Tadley – or travelling to the village from the east – had to negotiate the dangerous junction.
Addressing councillors she said: “If I want to go right, I have got to be aware of traffic coming along the A4 from the Thatcham direction – not sticking to the speed limit, I hasten to point out.
“I have then got to get across on to that middle section which, if there are lines, you can’t tell what they are, you can’t tell who has got priority.
“There’s no room anyway, but there might be a car that is wanting to turn right into the hotel or to those houses.
“There might be a car wanting to turn right up to Beenham and at the moment it is getting towards carnage.
“I’m not exaggerating. Lots of people who signed the petition, of which there are nearly 300, they have talked about close shaves, they have talked about near misses.”
Mrs McEwen said that the village had minimal public transport, one bus a week to Newbury and therefore most people were reliant on private transport.
“I know we can’t legislate for irresponsible drivers, but something really does need to be done about this junction because it is not safe,” she said.
“A lot of the children who go to Beenham Primary School are transported up from that section of the A4 every day and then transported back down. I encourage you go into Beenham and then try and come out again because it is a nightmare... it is an accident waiting to happen.
“I would really urge the council to... have a look at what can be done to rectify the situation,”
Speaking after the meeting about the issue of the junction, ward member for Beenham Dominic Boeck (Con, Aldermaston) said: “We certainly need to look at the residents’ concerns.
“Our highways engineers tend to do things in a very scientific way and I’m sure they will come to the right decision.”
As for installing a roundabout, Mr Boeck said: “As a road user it wouldn’t seem the right thing to do. The point about the A4 is it’s an artery and we have to balance the safety of all road users against keeping the traffic flowing.”