LETTER: Road safety - my ideas to tackle area hotspots
Two articles have appeared recently in the Worksop Guardian on the subject of speed cameras and associated road safety - in A.A.Grundi's column and another stating that the county council has been awarded an amount of money to improve safety on the county's roads.
Although I think dangerously fast speeds on our roads should be dealt with in a serious manner, I still can’t help feeling that some of the reduced speed limits in Bassetlaw and the over-zealous use of the speed camera vans are somewhat unrealistic in certain instances and a little forethought on the highways department planning would lead to safer roads, without the necessity of the enforcement vehicles.
A prime example of this is the ludicrous 30mph speed limit on Farmers Branch and Blyth Road, from that junction towards Blyth, both of which were reduced from 40mph for no apparent reason. They are straight roads with no invisible junctions.
The two biggest dangers are the main junction of Farmers Branch and Blyth Road where it is sometimes dangerous when an articulated lorry, either exiting Farmers Branch onto Blyth Road or turning off Blyth Road onto Farmers Branch, can sometimes, because of its size, either restrict vision on parts of the road or block some of the carriageway with the trailer, which is no fault of the truck driver.
To remove the potential hazards in this area, would the following use of funds be more sensible?
Put a traffic island at the junction of Farmers Branch and Blyth Road. This does several things: a) automatically creates a speed limit at the junction; b) because you always have to give way to a vehicle approaching from your right on the island it would allow a heavy goods vehicle to complete its manoeuvre safely, without having to stop halfway across the junction, and would also reduce the backlog of traffic that builds up on Farmers Branch at peak times.
Many near misses occur at the bottom of Thievesdale Lane at its junction with Blyth Road. These are usually caused by vehicles coming from Blyth, turning right onto Thievesdale Lane and are either going too fast or not indicating. This junction should be ‘squared off’ to a proper T-junction with the kerb moved back on the Blyth-to-Worksop side of the road, to widen the road so that a proper ‘arrowed’ right turn lane can be installed.
Also put a 7’ 6” wide ‘gateway’ in at the bottom of Thievesdale Lane and a 7.5-tonne weight limit and possibly a ‘No Right Turn’ towards Worksop.
These alterations would create their own speed limits and make the junctions much safer.
Another idea to help road safety would be the installation of traffic lights at the junction of Bawtry Road and Randall Way in Retford, which can be extremely busy with HGV traffic entering or leaving the industrial estates. I do think, sometimes, consultation with professional drivers would help these situation.
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