Emergency 40mph limit on A442 in Telford after 'serious defects' found with bridge barriers

Temporary 40mph speed limits have been put in place on one of Telford's busiest roads – after "serious defects" were found on barriers protecting one of the bridges over it.

The A442 in Telford between the Randlay and Hollinswood interchanges
The A442 in Telford between the Randlay and Hollinswood interchanges. Photo: Google StreetView.

A parish councillor has claimed Telford & Wrekin Council has been forced into emergency action on the A442 after a routine inspection revealed there was a "high probability" the bridge at Randlay would collapse if a car crashed into it at 60mph, the normal speed limit for the road.

The new speed restriction, between the Hollinswood and Randlay interchanges, came into force today.

It is expected to be in place for the next fortnight, with much of the repair work being carried out overnight to minimise disruption.

The road normally has a 60mph speed limit – but motorists have been warned speed camera vans will still be in operation over the works period and anyone travelling over 40mph can expect to be fined.

Telford & Wrekin Council spokesman Russell Griffin said: "There will be a speed limit of 40mph in place on the EP (A442) between Hollinswood and Randlay interchange while essential repairs are carried out.

"This is due to serious defects to the barriers which have been identified during a principal bridge inspection.

"The speed restriction comes into force from today and necessary traffic cones have been put in place.

"Emergency repair work will be carried out by a contractor over the next fortnight. In order to minimise disruption the repair work will be carried out during the night.

"The barriers at Randlay Interchange are the main problem but the contractor will also be doing some work on the ones at Hollinswood Interchange as well."

Councillor Stuart Parr, who sits on Stirchley & Brookside parish council for Ukip, said he had received an email which had advised him the bridge would not withstand a crash at 60mph because of problems with the barriers.

He said: "There is an emergency 40mph speed limit in place on the A442 from Hollinswood interchange to Stirchley interchange.

"The speed limit is in place because a routine inspection found that the barriers around the bridge pillars aren't strong enough to withstand a collision at 60mph.

"Most people are ignoring the 40mph speed limit but its there for a good reason.

"If someone crashes into the bridge pillars at 60mph there is a high probability that the bridge will collapse on them."

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Comments for: "Emergency 40mph limit on A442 in Telford after 'serious defects' found with bridge barriers "

thomas the tank

Let's all hope this isn't another priorslee island fiasco, or else we will still be doing 40MPH, this time next year.

privatelangers

"Most people are ignoring the 40mph speed limit". I think you'll find an awful lot of people were already ignoring the 60mph speed limit!

ShropshireLad1

Complete confusion last night from some very unobservant drivers, with lorries overtaking way over the new 40mph speed limit!

I hope this gets sorted quickly, as it will cause real mayhem if the weather gets bad.

The Waxed Bat

'Emergency repair work will be carried out over the next fortnight.'

If the chosen contractor is one of the handful preferred by T & W Council, an abysmal standard of work

at a premium price is guaranteed.

livin the dream

what do they mean barriers,the ones dividing the dual carrageway or the railings over the footbridge? also if you clobbered one of the bridge supports at 60 mph i think it would be game over, never mind the bridge collapsing on you,but got to agree with the waxed bat,the scamera van could be still snapping away this time next year,with the contractors T&W come up with,just look at the Redhill (pinchpoint) island scheme, it would have be quicker to build a bypass around Prioslee.

PJS

I honestly believe if you had photographed the Limekiln Bank works over the past 6 months, using a time-lapse camera, you'd be hard pressed to see any movement.

The signs tell us at present that completion will be 'November'. Looking at the lack of discernible work I think that's very unlikely - and it was supposed to have been finished last May!

woodhall

If its the bridge in the picture, you would have to be a rather bad driver to hit the supports, or maybe its an opportunity for the 'T & W chain saw gang' to find further employment by cutting down the trees to give good access.

Forward thinker

Have you not been around Telford lately? I witness extreme poor driving on a daily basis, however I agree with you concerning the chainsaw butchers.

Wotsupdoc

If your vehicle is out of control be it from a catastrophic dynamic vehicle defect or as the result of a collision you may not be able to miss the supports.

Sometimes you may not be the author of your own destiny or the direction of your vehicle.

Forward thinker

I would argue that this road should be closed completely whilst the bridge is deemed unsafe. I'm no science expert, but if the bridge is in danger of collapsing if a car hit it at 60mph, then how would it react if a fully laden lorry hit it at 40mph. The consequences could be extremely disastrous if this was to collapse.

jim jams

It's not the bridge that's unsafe but the barriers (it says at least twice in the article).

Why two weeks though? Motorway barriers get replaced in hours or days when there is an accident...why stretch it out to two weeks (meaning two to three months in reality)?

Cllr Stuart Parr

I'm grateful to the Telford Journal and the Shropshire Star for picking this up (the first I knew about it was when someone at work mentioned it!) but they did misquote me a little to make it sound more exciting.

"If you or someone else crashes into the bridge pillars at 60mph there is a high enough probability that the bridge will collapse on you for Telford & Wrekin Council to spend money."

It's a serious issue though. The barriers that are around the pillars of the bridge have been found to be lacking and in their opinion wouldn't withstand a 60mph collision. If something big hit it at that speed and the barriers didn't absorb the impact then of course there is a risk that the pillars could be compromised to the extent that it could collapse. Randlay Interchange doesn't have much stationary traffic on it but at busy times Hollinswood Interchange is practically gridlocked. All that weight on the bridge and a lorry colliding with it at 60mph and inadequate barriers are a recipe for disaster.

It's disappointing that people are ignoring the temporary speed limit when for once Telford & Wrekin Council have introduced a speed limit that makes sense but those who are ignoring the speed limit will be less than happy when they realise the speed camera van has snapped them breaking the speed limit. I do believe the signage is inadequate and I've emailed the council to that effect. There is only one sign in the central reservation as you enter the 40mph zone so if you miss it first time there's a good chance you won't see another with traffic on the inside lane. I also think there should at least be some orange lights on the signs as you enter the 40mph zone to make them more visible. I've had deafening silence from the council since I contacted them last week but that's par for the course with Highways.