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A529 in Shropshire: It's time to act on killer road

By Lucy Thompson | Market Drayton | Transport | Published:

Urgent action was today demanded to improve Shropshire’s roads, including one labelled among the most dangerous in the country.

The scene of an accident on the A529 at Woodseaves, near Market Drayton

The A529 between Market Drayton and Audlem is among the top 50 in the country for motoring deaths and serious injuries.

And a new report released today by the Road Safety Foundation places Shropshire as a whole the 15th worst for fatal crashes out of 78 counties surveyed.

Five people have died and more than 100 injured on the A529 in the past five years. Data shows there were 77 reported collisions and 119 people injured between Hinstock and Audlem.

Shropshire Council has submitted a bid for £3.8 million to the Department of Transport to make the A529 safer.

A crash on the A529 near Hinstock . Photo: @SFRSWellington

But a councillor is calling for immediate action before more people are killed or injured.

Councillor Rob Gittins, who represents Cheswardine, said: “It is time to act now. The road has been identified as one of the most dangerous in the country. Road safety is something that Shropshire Council takes very seriously and it is very important we try our best to reduce serious accidents on our roads.

“The A529 has been highlighted by the government as one of the most dangerous. Over Christmas there were two further serious accidents on the road.

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"There are a number of factors that contribute to the accidents. These include S-bends and dangerous junctions.

Firefighters rescue a woman involved in a crash which closed the A529. Photo: @SFRSWellington

“I have also been in contact with Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Highways & Transport via our MP Owen Paterson to see if anything can be done. We should hear in the next couple of months if we have been successful in securing the funds but time is of the essence.”

According to today’s report by the Road Safety Foundation, serious crashes across the whole of Shropshire increased by nine per cent between 2010 and 2015. It says there were 772 serious crashes between 2010 and 2015.

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A529 danger road - what can be done?

The A529 desperately needs safety measures – but any meaningful work is reliant on an injection of cash from the Department of Transport.

Shropshire Council will find out next month if it has been successful in its bid for almost £4 million.

It is an important decision – the Road Safety Foundation warned that Shropshire is likely to fail international targets to halve road deaths in a decade.

Steve Brown, Shropshire Council’s head of highways, transport and environmental maintenance, said today: “The bid for £3.88m for the A529 was submitted by the deadline to the Department for Transport.

“We are awaiting its decision , which we anticipate will be late February.”

This crash closed the A529 near Hinstock. Photo: @SFRSWellington

There are a number of roads that are deemed as high-risk in Shropshire, including the A529 between Hinstock and Market Drayton.

There have been a number of fatal collisions. In 2016, a 23-year old man died when the car he was a passenger in left the road and went down an embankment.

An 80-year-old woman died following a two-vehicle crash at the Sweet Appletree crossroads near Hinstock in 2015.

In December 2017, a man in his 60s suffered a head injury after his car collided with a wall on the A529 near Woodseaves.

The A539 between Wrexham and Whitchurch and the A5104 are also deemed high-risk roads. There is also a campaign for lower speed limits on the A41 at Tern Hill.

Work proposed for the A529 includes new signage and barriers. Road widening and path improvements could also be carried out.

Shropshire Council says said the work would be phased over a two to three year period on a 12-mile stretch of the road, along with curb delineation. Andy Wilde, Shropshire Council’s highways programme manager, said the Department for Transport had formally identified sections of the A529 in its ‘Funding for Local Transport: The Safer Roads’ document.

Lucy Thompson

By Lucy Thompson
@LThompson_Star

Express & Star reporter

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