Peterborough City Council urges you to report near misses at A43 junction

DRIVERS are being urged to let report any crashes or near misses they have at a busy junction.

Despite rejecting our campaign for safety improvements at the A43 and the A1 south sliproad at Wothorpe, Peterborough City Council has urged people to get in contact about dangerous incidents at the spot.

We received of hundreds of coupons and e-mails of support to our campaign for a “Stop” sign and 40mph speed limit at the junction.

The council previously rejected the call in February following a site visit and has stood firm on its decision.

Members of the council’s highways team said a “Stop” sign is not needed because visibility of the road is clear enough at the sliproad, and that the speed limit will not be reduced because on average motorists travel much lower than the current 60mph limit. However, officers will listen to people who have experienced a collision or near miss.

In a response letter to the Mercury, Peterborough City Council’s network manager Peter Tebb said: “I appreciate the concern over the road traffic collisions that have occurred.

“We have undertaken two visits to the location in conjunction with the police to observe and review the junction, however no major issues or omissions were noted.

“I would really appreciate any further information that you or your readers could provide as to why and when these near misses occur either by e-mail or letter.”

Mercury editor Eileen Green said: “I’m pleased the council wants to hear about our readers’ experiences at this notorious junction.

“I would urge readers to report any incidents to the council and to let the Mercury know.”

The council has agreed to repaint road markings at the junction.

To contact the council e-mail peter.tebb@peterborough.gov.uk, send a letter to Operations Directorate, 1st Floor, East Wing, Stuart House, St Johns Street, Peterborough, PE1 5DD or call 01733 747474.

The council’s letter:

Junction of A1/A43 near Wothorpe

I REFER to your letter of April 27, concerning the above junction, which we received on May 9. I appreciate the concern over the road traffic collisions that have occurred at the above location. I have reviewed the accident data over the last five years for this junction, which shows the vast majority of the accidents involve a vehicle turning right on to the A43. We have undertaken two visits to the location in conjunction with the police to observe and review the junction, however, no major issues or omissions were noted. The signage on the slip road from the A1 is in good condition and clearly indicates that the driver is approaching a junction. The line of trees opposite the junction reinforces that the message to the motorists on the slip road that they are approaching a junction, as does further directional signage at this point.

A full seven day speed survey was undertaken at this location during the last week of February. The survey is undertaken covertly and records the speed of each vehicle in both directions, 24 hours per day. The result of this survey gave the average speeds of 46mph eastbound and 36mph westbound and showed there to be a very low level of speeding. Given that vehicles are already travelling at relatively low speeds a reduction in speed limit would not achieve any further benefit in terms of vehicle speeds. The influence of the bridge and its associated shadow has also been considered, however there is no pattern to the times of the accidents. Likewise none of the accidents involve vehicles making a left turn, in which drivers are also required to judge the speed of the approaching traffic.

We can not agree to the request for a stop sign to be erected at the foot of the slip road for the following signs. All stop signs have to be authorised by the Secretary of State, and such authorisation will only be granted in exceptional circumstances if the specified visibility criteria are met based on the speed of the traffic on the main road,. The actual visibility criteria are met based on the speed of the traffic on the main road. The actual visibility from the junction exceeds the requisite level for a stop sign and therefore any such application would be refused.

I am arranging for the road markings to be refreshed at this junction to ensure that they have the maximum impact and shall include additional markings on the A43 at the same time.

I would really appreciate any further information that you or your readers could provide as to why and when these near misses occur either by email or letter to the addresses above or a telephone call via 01733 747474.

PETER TEBB

Network Manager

Peterborough City Council