Dual the A5 campaign: Haulage firm supports calls for route revamp
One of the county's largest haulage firms is backing the Shropshire Star's petition calling for the A5 to be dualled north of Shrewsbury.
Pentons offers a chilled warehouse storage and distribution service across the UK with its fleet of 55 lorries and 100 container units travelling thousands of miles on roads of every shape and size each week.
The family run business employs between 160-170 staff many of whom travel on the A5 to its depot on the Oswestry Industrial estate just off the bypass.
Bosses, Steve and Gary Penton say the A5 is in desperate need of improvements.
They say not only their company but other haulage firms depend on traffic moving steadily for them to make their deliveries on time.
"The queues leading up to and past the Oswestry bypass are a joke," Gary said.
"I feel so sorry for haulage drivers going to and from north Wales who can get stuck in what can be miles of crawling traffic around Oswestry.
"Most contracts will have a half hour window either side of the delivery time, not much if you come up against the sort of traffic you can have on the A5."
Bosses say there are also safety issues with the road.
"The A5 really is a dangerous road," Steve said.
"It is the only stretch of single carriageway road from London to Holyhead and drivers get really frustrated if they are stuck behind a lorry or slow moving vehicle. It would be much safer if it was a dual carriageway.
"The road may be wide enough to overtake in places but many drivers will hug the white line on not be alert for vehicles overtaking. It is worst at night or in bad weather when you are faced with a line of white lights and the suddenly you realise a set of lights is in the middle of the road."
They said their experience and that of their drivers was that problems were worse at junctions onto the trunk road.
"I think the Queens Head junction is dreadful and it is one our drivers use every day for a contract we have. It is difficult turning out of there is you are in a car but image if you are behind the wheel of a heavy goods vehicle trying to get out into the stream of traffic on the A5," Gary said.
"There is the same problem at West Felton and of course at the Shottaton crossroads."
Both brothers live in Ruyton-XI-Towns from where villagers get onto the road network at the crossroads.
But Steve says he won't use the road and instead drives on country lanes to get onto the A5 at the roundabout at the end of the Nesscliffe bypass.
There are further dangers turning off the Oswestry bypass into the town's industrial estate to the company's headquarters.
"That should never have been built as a staggered junction," Steve said.
"There have been so many accidents there and our drivers see near misses regularly. That junction needs a roundabout."