news

Put an end to our road misery

PROTESTERS living on a busy road where six people have been killed in the last four years are demanding action.

PROTESTERS living on a busy road where six people have been killed in the last four years are demanding action.

They say the 15,000 vehicles travelling along the A51 through their villages every day are ruining their lives.

The A51 Environmental Group wants to drive HGVs away from their homes to safeguard village life and prevent another tragedy.

'The people of Duddon, Clotton, Alpraham and Calveley are exasperated,' said action group member Stephen Millet.

'The villages are demonstrably un-safe to live in. Too many accidents occur. Hedges and fences are regularly damaged as a result of crashes.

'How long will it be before a pedestrian or somebody standing on their own property is killed?'

Serious and minor crashes are a regular fixture on the A51 due to speeding traffic, leaving residents afraid to cross the road.

Last month, 19-year-old David Graham Hamblett died on the road after his silver Ford Escort was involved in an accident with a HGV.

More than 1,400 HGVs by-pass motorway networks and travel along the A51 to Merseyside and North Wales before they travel to Ireland.

Residents say noise and vibrations from the vehicles disturb their sleep and have caused cracks in walls and roof tiles.

Many are concerned for the safety of pupils, parents and teachers who have to dodge traffic while entering and leaving Duddon St Peter's Primary School.

Mr Millet added: 'Traffic flow has been tackled piecemeal by the authorities over the years but there has been little attention to addressing the concerns of those who live in the area.

'In the short term we recommend the re-signing of traffic through to the existing motorway system, a speed limit of 40mph for Clotton and Duddon, speed cameras to enforce the limit and better road surfacing to reduce noise.

'The inevitable long-term solutions are bypasses for neighbouring villages.'

Alan Ramsay, a member of the A51 Environmental Group and a Duddon parish councillor, said: 'About 15,000 cars travel along this road every day.

'The M6 Toll Road has 45,000 vehicles every day across its six lanes. If you compare that to our little single carriageway, it really puts it into perspective.'

Eddisbury MP Stephen O'Brien said the A51 issue was one of the first matters to be brought to his attention when he won his seat five years ago.

'They informed me of their concerns and their deteriorating quality of life,' he said.

'I have worked closely with the group. Their arguments are reasonable and responsible. The safety issue here is a serious one.

'I will continue to urge ministers to look seriously at the need to encourage HGVs to use motorway networks.'

A Cheshire County Council spokesman said: 'The council takes its responsibility as a highways authority very seriously.

'We are aware of the concerns of the A51 Environmental Group and we have met and spoken with them.'

View full mobile page