Dual the A5 campaign: Speed of traffic 'a nightmare for farmers'

The harvest is still in full swing across Shropshire with massive tractors and other agricultural vehicles out on the roads.

Malcolm Roberts
Malcolm Roberts

For those who have to made journeys o their fields and back along the A5 the trips can be a nightmare.

Malcolm Roberts, who farms near Oswestry and is the West Midlands chairman of the National Farmers Union, today praised the Shropshire Star for highlight the problems of the A5 trunk road through the county.

The single carriageway road is, he says, a danger because of the speed of the traffic.

"When you are driving an agricultural vehicle you don't have the acceleration of the rest of the traffic," Mr Roberts said.

"Drivers can be sitting at the Shotatton crossroads for ages, simply because of the speed of the traffic," he said.

"And it is not just getting onto the road. Because the A5 is single carriageway the vehicles can not get over onto the side of the carriageway to let faster cars overtake while they are getting up to speed. Our vehicles are heavier and slower that the rest of the traffic but we share the same road."

Mr Roberts said that the current potato harvest mean agricultural vehicles were coming out of fields directly onto the trunk road.

"The time it takes to get out onto the road actually costs the farmer, or contractor, more money. To keep the harvest operation continual he will have to employ more people and use more tractors and machinery that he otherwise would."

He said he was also concerned about the 'improvements' made recently to the Mile End Roundabout on the edge of Oswestry.

"What they have done is made the speed of drivers going around the island faster. Again for slow moving agricultural traffic this can be a nightmare."

"All is has done is led to bottlenecks further north along the A5. The traffic comes off the island at speed straight into a jam all the way to the Gobowen island.

"If improvements are made they have to be made on the whole length of the A5."

"The Shropshire Star is doing a cracking job of highlighting the problems."

The Star's Dual It campaign is calling on transport minister, John Hayes, to dual the road from Montford Bridge to the Welsh border.

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