Safety fears spark call to put brakes on work - The Worcester Observer

Safety fears spark call to put brakes on work

Worcester Editorial 4th Jun, 2015 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016   0

URGENT calls have been made to suspend the work on the A4440 Southern Link Road amid fears of a ‘serious head on collision’ off the Ketch roundabout.

Coun Richard Udall has urged bosses at Worcestershire County Council to review the £40million scheme, which aims to ease congestion on one of the Malvern’s busiest routes.

His calls come after Coun Tom Wells, county councillor and district councillor for Powick, posted a video and petition to Facebook last Wednesday (May 27) calling for action.

The video shows drivers coming off the roundabout and having to break harshly as two lanes suddenly become one on the Carrington Bridge.

It has been viewed more than 80,000 times, shared by more than 1,700 people and the petition has racked up more than 1,200 supporters.

Traffic cones are currently in place on the A4440 and off the Ketch roundabout as part of a safety audit of the island, which was put forward to Monday (June 1).

But calls have now been made to postpone the entire project, with Labour councillor Coun Udall fearing it could put more people at risk of being hit by vehicles.

“The whole project must now be stopped, reviewed and re-examined before we waste even more public money,” he said.

“It beggars belief that we appear to have a council with no idea about how to design safe junctions.”

Coun Wells said he was hopeful the audit would do more than make ‘minor cosmetic changes’ to the junction.

“I hope the safety audit will produce something more robust than simply changing a few lines on the road,” he said.

“The reason all of this is being done is to accommodate an increased traffic movement which will be generated by thousands more homes, so if the current vehicle numbers cannot be accommodated safely it begs the question, what will it be like in a couple of years time when we see these new homes?

“This is likely to generate head on collisions with people coming round onto the bridge and finding there is no more road and colliding head on with someone coming the other way.”

Coun Wells added: “This has cost £40million of public money and many people will ask if we have got value for the money.

“The design seems to fly in the face of common sense, I could get a ten-year-old from primary school to design a better scheme than that.”

A county council spokeswoman said it was not known when the audit would be completed and when the traffic cones would be removed.

“A safety audit is currently underway,” she added. “We will await the findings before making any further decisions regarding the Ketch roundabout.

“The current traffic management arrangements will remain in place until we have completed the safety audit.”


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