Councillors call for traffic audit results as SLR safety fears raised

May 11 2021
Councillors call for traffic audit results as SLR safety fears raised

St Peter’s parish councillors want to know the results of a traffic audit amid concerns for pedestrians’ safety in the event of a vehicle mounting the path running along Crookbarrow Way on the A4440 Southern Link Road.

The councillors discussed the issue, recalling that previous requests for crash barriers on the pathway had been rejected by highways chiefs.

The reason given was that the barriers could propel vehicles back on to the road as they were likely to rebound from them in a collision, creating potentially more danger involving other vehicles.

During the parish council’s latest meeting member Roger Knight questioned the logic of that, saying people in vehicles were “in a metal box” and wearing seatbelts, unlike pedestrians.

He added: “I don’t think it’s a valid reason. If that happened people wouldn’t stand a chance.”

Following the meeting parish council chairman Alan Tucker explained that there had previously been “considerable communication” between the parish council and Worcestershire County Council, which was responsible for the Southern Link Road.

He explained: “We eventually learnt that the county council had carried out safety assessments. We could not get hold of them.

“One of the councillors at the time asked for the safety assessments as a resident of St Peter’s under a Freedom of Information Act and we eventually got some information.”

He added: “The authorities are required to carry out appropriate safety assessment taking into account all factors. There are set ways that this should be carried out.

“The issue with the information we received was the detail of the way the decision had been made was not fully available.”

He went on: “There is barrier around by the footbridge covering access and exit from the bridge down to the footpath and covering the bridge infrastructure.

“The assumption is that the risk in this area must have been considered as needing mitigation.

“It is an emotive subject but there is a basis to the situation, whether people personally agree with the decision or not.”

Mr Knight said: “I requested a safety barrier along the uphill side of this road, some years ago.

“I was supported by the headteacher of Whittington Primary School, as this is a route to school.

“Apart from the risk of a car mounting the pavement, there was concern that, due to the topography, a dropped ball or similar thing could roll into the road and a child might chase after it.

“Highways replied that there was a greater risk of a car striking such a barrier and rebounding off back into the path of oncoming traffic, thus causing a crash and possible loss of life.

“The risk was considered greater than the potential benefit.”

Mr Tucker explained that the parish council had been told that once all the highway works had been completed and the road was in full operation a further risk assessment would be carried out.

The parish council has requested to be kept informed.