Shropshire Star

Fresh pleas for funding to improve notorious 'busy and dangerous' A41

Fresh calls have been made for funding for safety measures along the A41 after two crashes on the road in just over 24 hours.

Emergency services at the scene of a crash on the A41 last year. Photo: Market Drayton Fire Station

Councillors in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin have renewed calls for funding to be put towards speed cameras along the 'busy' and 'dangerous' A41 road.

The A41, which runs from Newport, through to Hinstock, Tern Hill, Market Drayton and Whitchurch, has been a subject of concern for many years with campaigners pressing for action to improve the safety record of the route.

Since 2017, there have been more than 190 crashes where people have been killed or injured on the A41 between Cosford and Whitchurch.

A lorry crashed south of the Heath Roundabout on the A41 earlier this week. Picture: Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service - @SFRS_JimBarker

In September of 2022, major funding was confirmed by West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion to pay for average speed cameras for the county.

Councillors at the time urged the police and crime commissioner to put the £400,000 towards cameras on the trunk road which, whilst not providing the whole answer to road safety, would go a long way to cutting speed. A decision on the location of the average speed cameras is yet to be announced.

The latest calls from councillors came after a fuel tanker jackknifed in snowy conditions on the A41 near Tilstock Roundabout, Whitchurch in the early hours of Wednesday.

Just over 24 hours later, there were reports of a two-car crash on the A41 in Prees Heath at around 7.11am on Thursday.

Shropshire Councillor Rob Gittins and A41 safety campaigner said: “Further to the continuing high number of accidents on the A41, any funding from the PCC would be most welcome.

"I am aware that Shropshire Council officers are working closely with both the PCC and Telford & Wrekin Council to instigate urgent and much-needed action to save lives on what is considered locally as a very dangerous stretch of road.

"We all very much look forward to hearing a positive announcement from the PCC in coming weeks in regards to average speed cameras.”

Emergency services at the scene on the A41 last year. Photo: Market Drayton Fire Station

Telford & Wrekin Council's deputy leader and cabinet member for housing, enforcement and transport, Councillor Richard Overton said: “Speed cameras will be a welcome addition to the busy and dangerous A41 that passes through the borough but there is still much more to be done and this investment is the tip of the iceberg.

“We urge the commissioner to note and offer further funding to support the extensive work being carried out at the heart of communities by the council’s highways and road safety team.

"The council is committed to making our roads safer and the significant investments that continue, such as safer routes to school and 20mph zones, are a clear demonstration of our commitment.

“We welcome the investment not only into the A41 and would be in support of additional investment directly into borough-wide improvements.”

The scene of a crash on the A41 last year. Photo: Market Drayton Fire Station

In response, PCC John Campion advised that a total of £900,000 is being invested across West Mercia with the main focus including £400,000 for the latest technology in average speed camera schemes, £150,000 to tackle inappropriate speed and driver behaviour and the rest to increase West Mercia Police’s Road Safety team by 11.5 full-time officers.

Councillor Overton said: “We’re obviously disappointed to hear we will not be receiving specific funding but would hope that residents feel the impact of the measures being implemented more widely and will continue to invest in safety measures wherever we can.”