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Motorists need a culture shift to make road safe, says councillor

Market Drayton | News | Published:

A "change in culture" in drivers may be necessary before a busy road is made safer, it has been claimed.

Market Drayton Town Councillor Roy Aldcroft said speed calming measures would need to be accompanied by a change in attitude among drivers before worries are eased regarding a stretch of Newcastle Road in the town.

It comes as the councillor revealed he has spoken about the issue with police and is due to meet with the district's traffic engineer to discuss potential solutions.

Residents of the town previously wrote an open letter to the Market Drayton and District Road Safety Group, warning that a 'fatal or serious accident' would be likely to happen on the stretch of Newcastle Road in between the junction with the A53 and the Grove School.

David and Ian Palmer-Wicks, along with Robert and Janet Mellor, said that there was not enough incentive for drivers leaving the A53 and heading into the town to slow down, and that some passed the Grove School well over the speed limit.

The road safety group is in ongoing discussions about the letter and the state of Newcastle Road, while town councillors also had their say.

Councillor Aldcroft said: "I have spoken to the police and they are looking at various things. One thing they are considering is using unmarked vehicles on some of the roads, including a motorbike.

"But ultimately these are not technological problems, they are people problems.

"I don't think unless there is a change in culture and that people are more considerate of children crossing the road or of dogs and cats running out that we will necessarily make much of a difference."

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Mike Smith is a member of the Market Drayton and District Road Safety Group, and he has encouraged the people of Market Drayton to have their say on the issue.

He said: "Two members have fitted the speed signs near the small roundabout at Longford turning and also outside the houses at Hill Side. The fact the sign is there does make people slow down.

"I am hoping to publish the output of the speed signs so people can see what the stats say. They will appear on the Market Drayton Road Safety Facebook page. If people have road safety issues or concerns please add them to that group.

"That is another option, to fit a speed sign permanently, but these decisions are down to Shropshire Council highways.

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"If people who feel strongly about the speed issues would like to attend the road safety group we would be very pleased to have you join us. Let's all try and work together to improve things."

Residents agreed in large numbers with the letter, signalling their support on social media.

Mike Trevor said: "It’s definitely the case that most of the speeding is due to people not fully slowing from the bypass speed, I am sure most people including myself have done it."

The road safety group meets at Market Drayton's town hall on the last Tuesday of every other month.

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