Garage owner says police enforcement the only way to tackle bad drivers on A41

A garage owner has said active police presence is the only way to cut down on crashes blighting the A41.

Paul Turner of BJ's Garage in Market Drayton is concerned about the A41 and how driver are on the road
Paul Turner of BJ's Garage in Market Drayton is concerned about the A41 and how driver are on the road

Paul Turner, 48, has been working at BJ's Garage at Crickemerry since he was 16, and has been living on the A41 for 42 years.

He said that while the road is "very, very fast," he considered driver behaviour has been the primary factor behind crashes on the road – be it through frustration, or not paying attention and looking at devices such as smartphones.

It comes after politicians called for fresh safety measures on the road – including the introduction of average speed cameras.

Figures from West Mercia Police's Roads Safety Partnership had revealed that there had been nearly 200 people injured or killed in crashes on the route in the past five years.

In total eight people have died on the road since January 2017, 56 have been seriously injured, and 127 have received slight injuries.

Mr Turner said that he saw police presence as the most effective way to change driver behaviour – along with strict policing and strong punishments for people caught using devices while behind the wheel.

He said: "I have lived on the A41, on the side of the road, for 42 years, I have been driving for 22 years and had no accidents.

"I have driven cars, motorcycles, lorries. It is a fantastic road and it is all down to driver error."

He added: "We have had accidents outside here, I went out to recover vehicles, I see everything that is going on and I say the majority of the accidents are caused by distraction and devices or bad maintenance of the vehicle.

"The tarmac is not dangerous, it cannot be dangerous, it is the people driving on it that are."

Mr Turner said that the road was noticeably more busy that it has been at any point in the past.

He said: "Every day I stand and look at traffic going past and it is the busiest it has ever been."

He added: "I know police presence costs money but if we had more police presence on the side of the road, people get aware of it and react and become better drivers."

A number of Shropshire Star readers on Facebook also voiced concern over driver behaviour.

One said: "The road is fine, it's how people drive, I travel on it every day, and the way some people drive is scary, they are in such a rush slow down take care think of others. The lorry drivers don't help they are very intimidating and scary."

Annette Street added: "They may have put a new sticker on the 40mph sign at Tern Hill, but I live on the A41 there and it doesn't make a difference to any vehicle, especially at night, you can hear them flying through over the limit."

Caroline Gregg said: "Sadly you can put as many cameras up as you like but the road is very busy and some people make atrocious decisions to overtake where they shouldn’t. Somehow they need to get some people's driving back to a good standard."

Iain Hawkes said: "Some drive like they are in a video game, you can take a risk on a video game press reset and you get your life back, some people forget in reality you quite simply only have one life, there's no reset."

Dee Spencer added: "Visually it's a dangerous stretch, it's deceiving I some parts... but yes, comes down to how people drive most of the time."

In a response to the Shropshire Star over concerns about the issue, Wets Mercia Police said they were increasing enforcement along the route.

Inspector Gavin Williams said: “Reducing collisions and casualties on the roads remains a year-round commitment for West Mercia Police, and we are working alongside our local authority partners to review safety measures along the A41 and identify potential improvements.

“Speed enforcement continues to take place on the A41 and we will be increasing our presence along this route. In addition to this, officers from the Roads Policing Unit and Police Motorcycle Traffic Support Team proactively seek to make our roads safer by using intelligence to reduce offending on our roads and carrying out regular targeted enforcement."

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News