Safety study revealed on ‘killer’ A1

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A parish council is demanding safety improvements to the A1 through South Kesteven, following a series of major accidents.

Colsterworth Parish Council has lobbied the Department of Transport and enlisted the support of Stamford and Bourne MP Nick Boles.

The council reports six fatal and several serious injury accidents on a six mile stretch of the A1 between North Witham and Little Ponton alone in the past year. They met with Mr Boles “to discuss the disruption that A1 accidents cause on a weekly basis.”

The council accepted major improvements, such as new flyovers were unlikely, but says following the meeting with the MP, the Department of Transport is to survey the whole length of the A1 from Stamford to Blyth.

The meeting raised matters such as closing some ‘dangerous’ centre crossings, though closing all would be preferred. Some central reservation crossings could also be made one way such as Marston and Honey Pot Lane so there is no crossing from both sides at narrow points like Great Ponton and Stoke Rochford.

Other safety measures could include more lighting, slip roads on junctions that don’t have them, a possible 50mph section between Colsterworth and Little Ponton with more speed cameras.

Highways England is to conduct a “comprehensive review of safety on the A1 from Stamford to Blyth.”

The move has been revealed in a letter to Nick Boles MP, from Jesse Norman MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport. It said: “The review will aim to examine existing collision trends, passive safety of the route, existing infrastructure, potential safety schemes and increasing resilience of the route.”

“All options will be looked into, including reviewing the speed limits and lowering them if necessary, and the enforcement of speeding limits or any new limits. All crossover points/private accesses will be examined and the need for such junctions will be assessed. Closure will be considered if they are warranted by the accident record or favourable public consultation.”

The letter said an initial study would take several months to complete, with works identified having to compete for funding and space in the work programme against other improvement and maintenance schemes in the network. The review will also look to prioritise the improvements identified and secure funding over the coming years.

Highways England said it will approach its partners to undertake the work and meet council representatives.

North Witham councillor David Bellamy, who wrote to the department, said Grantham suffers every time there an accident.

He said: “It’s not’s just the disruption but the casualties.”

Colsterworth Parish Council blames narrow crossing points as a main cause in two fatalities in October when a lorry tried to cross a central reservation. Its trailer blocked the central reservation on an unlit stretch of A1 at night, which was then hit by an incoming car.

The A1 has 35 access points, including to farmers’ fields, between North Witham and Little Ponton, and ideally they all need closing.

During the late 1980s/early 1990s, properties by the A1 were compulsory purchased for a motorway upgrade but plans were axed to save cash.

Mr Bellamy added: “If a motorway was required 30 years ago, why not now? The A1 is a killer highway. It’s a national disgrace.”

n What do you think should be done to improve safety on the A1? E-mail your views to smeditor@stamfordmercury.co.uk