Notes for Editors
ABD Welcomes New Bridge over A45 at Meriden
A Demonstration of the Failure of Speed Reduction Measures
The ABD is pleased to welcome the recent announcement from Roads Minister Lord Whitty that a new road bridge is to be built over the A45 dual carriageway at the Packington Crossroads, Meriden, Warwickshire. The decision demonstrates that previous attempts to improve safety here have failed.
This crossroads, involving traffic turning across a busy dual carriageway through narrow gaps in the central reservation, has always been dangerous for inexperienced or careless drivers.
The ABD believes the new bridge will be far more effective in preventing accidents at Packington Crossroads than the series of speed control measures put in place over the last few years, which have clearly not succeeded, otherwise the bridge would not be needed.
"The lowering of the road's speed limit and its enforcement with cameras has done little to improve its accident rate" states Mark McArthur-Christie, the ABD's Roads and Traffic Spokesman. "The DETR has always indicated that lowering speed limits in this kind of scenario has little impact on accidents."
- First, they introduced a speed limit of 60mph on the whole length of this important trunk road between Coventry and Birmingham. The DETR has never recommended speed limit reductions to deal with specific hazards, and, unsurprisingly, this largely unreasonable and ignored speed limit failed to prevent accidents at this junction.
- Then they introduced speed cameras - one in each direction just before the junction at a cost of over £30,000 each. This measure has also clearly failed to work at preventing accidents, possibly because one of the cameras is hidden behind a roadsign (photo) - clear evidence of a desire to catch people out rather than to improve safety.
The ABD very much hopes that the Meriden junction will be the start of a new, more enlightened and effective strategy for dealing with junction accidents on dual carriageways. This should include both road engineering and driver education. These are the ABDís recommendations:
- These two A45 speed cameras should be removed and this section of road returned to the national speed limit of 70mph once the bridge is built.
- There must be a diversion of funds away from cameras, limit reductions and traffic calming in favour of genuine road improvements to remove accident blackspots like this one.
- A research programme should be done to establish the exact causes of carriageway crossing accidents and how they can be avoided - after all, competent and observant drivers have no difficulty in negotiating them.
- A public education film should be made to ensure the results of this study are widely known.
LETíS GET ROAD SAFETY MOVING AGAIN!