Thursday, March 14, 2013
A VILLAGE branch of the Women’s Institute has warned someone could be killed unless traffic lights are installed at an A1 roundabout.
Members of Buckden WI are calling on the Highways Agency to provide signals which they believe are the only answer to prevent a serious crash.
The WI has a long history of campaigns on national matters but it is the first time the ladies from Buckden have taken on an issue closer to home.
Branch president Patricia King, a WI member for 15 years and nearly four as president, said: “We are very worried about getting in and out of our village. We would like the traffic lights before someone is tragically killed, rather than after a horrific event.”
The idea for the campaign followed a conversation about an accident involving a WI member on a different stretch of road – the driver was left with a broken collarbone.
“I just mentioned the roundabout and I had a sea of hands up,” said Mrs King. “People started saying how dangerous it is to get out on to the roundabout or to get back into the village.”
Tackling the junction from the Perry direction was equally challenging, she said, while vehicles leaving the Shell petrol station added to the complications.
“You really have to take your life in your hands,” she said.
Mrs King said members were concerned that extra traffic generated by planned development at Alconbury would only make matters worse.
“It’s the first roundabout for miles from the north and people come hammering down there,” she said. “The 50mph speed limit is a laugh. I was overtaken by a car transporter the other day.”
At last Tuesday’s WI meeting, all 71 members backed the suggestion of campaigning for improvements.
Mrs King, who said traffic lights might be necessary only at peak times, was due to raise the matter last night (Tuesday) with Buckden Parish Council and is due to meet MP Jonathan Djanogly tomorrow.
A Highways Agency spokeswoman confirmed that A1 upgrades meant the Buckden roundabout was the last after Berwick-upon-Tweed but said there were no plans to carry out any improvements at the junction.
She said: “We have previously investigated potential solutions to side road congestion, including traffic signals.
“However our study showed these would lead to greater congestion and could introduce additional safety problems along this section of the A1.
“The study also concluded that no other improvements were feasible, partly due to the tight constraints at this location.
“Any substantial junction improvement would be inappropriate for the location and would not provide value for taxpayers’ money.”