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Richard Benyon's update of the A34 safety progress

Richard Benyon's update of the A34 safety progress

NEWBURY MP Richard Benyon chaired a meeting in Parliament on Monday about the progress made to improve safety on the A34 following two fatal accidents in 2016.  

A report commissioned by Highways England to examine the safety of the road from the M3 junction to the M40 junction was discussed. 

Parts of the West Berkshire stretch of the road, near to the village of East Ilsley in particular, were reported to have a very poor safety record, although the A34 in general was considered no more dangerous than other roads.

Mr Benyon said: “I was pleased that Highways England have carried out this work and that they will report back to MPs in June about which options for improvements they will take forward.”

MPs attending the meeting believe the early adoption of the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway is essential and Mr Benyon said: “This road is the long-term solution to the A34’s problems.”  

The Oxford to Cambridge Expressway route is planned to run from M4 Chieveley junction 13 to the Girton Interchange in Cambridge, and will ease congestion on the A34, in addition to speeding up travel times between the two cities.

Highways England also said that the economic impact of even minor incidents affect much of the South of England, the Midlands and the North.

The MP for Wantage Ed Vaizey said: “The A34 is a strategic and crucial part of our transport network which is not fit for purpose.”

This is just one of a series of meetings held following two fatal incidents in 2016.

One crash, in August 2016, caused the death of Tracy Houghton, her two sons Ethan and Josh, and her stepdaughter Aimee Goldsmith.

Lorry driver Tomasz Kroker crashed into their stationary car while he was using his mobile phone. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in October 2016.

The  death in June 2016 of 28-year-old Gavin Roberts, saw the launch of a petition to lower the speed limit on the A34 to 50mph.

The petition currently has more than 2,500 signatures.

Six MPs from Hampshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire – including North West Hants MP Kit Malthouse – were at this latest meeting, as well as representatives from West Berkshire Council, Oxfordshire County Council, Harwell and Milton business parks and local enterprise partnerships.

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Article comments

  • NWNThatcham

    03/05/2017 - 23:53

    Multiple crashes caused by speeding and use of mobile phones. Yet Benyon believes a new road is the solution. How about enforcing the laws we already have?