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26th Jun, 2022

What price someone’s life? Campaigners speak out again

Worcester Editorial 30th Jul, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

TWO COUNCILLORS fighting to improve the safety of a busy stretch of road have renewed their calls for action.

Coun Matthew Jenkins and Coun Neil Laurenson, representing the St Stephen ward for Worcestershire County Council and Worcester City Council respectively, are both campaigning for measures to be put in place on Bilford Road and the junction with Astwood Road.

The pair are no strangers to the dangerous stretch as their 330-strong petition in 2012, which called for a crossing on the corner outside Premier Stores, was knocked back due to a lack of funds.

Coun Jenkins, who was elected last year, is set to use his £10,000 divisional fund to have a pedestrian refuge put in place on the brow of the canal bridge, near Perdiswell Leisure Centre but still wants more to be done.

“I was hoping to get a quick win and something done, and the refuge seems the best bet there, but we still need some discussions about how we can improve the actual junction by Astwood Road and the shop,” he said.

“At the cheaper end of things you could improve the road markings and layouts, but it’s not the perfect solution.”

The road, which has been billed as an accident blackspot, recently claimed the life of 19-year-old Ant Rogers.

It led to calls from Coun Laurenson to widen the entrance to the tip and include a filter lane.

“There are three main points on Bilford Road that need to be made safer,” he said.

“It looks like we could get a result with the bridge, but the tip and outside Premier something has to be done, otherwise I’m afraid someone is going to get hurt again.

“The county council say it’s too expensive but I would say, like other people will say, what’s the price of someone’s life.

“We will still keep campaigning about it while we are on the council, we wont give up and we will keep bringing it to the attention of the Conservatives at County Hall.”

Coun John Smith, County Council cabinet member for highways, said: “Over the past several years there has been a request to place a controlled crossing area on Bilford Road near the Premier shop.

“This decision has involved input from the police and the County Council’s accident studies team. It was agreed by all parties there is a lack of visibility at this location to install a crossing improvement.

“Unfortunately there isn’t a solution that can be found at this location due to the alignment of the road. There are also other factors which limit putting in a crossing here such as driveway accesses and nearby junctions.”

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