Talk is cheap - why now is the time to actually do something about the A41
Travelled on the A41 recently? If you have, the chances are you will have witnessed driving that leads to a missed heartbeat or two.
It is one of the main trunk roads through Shropshire, a vital national route and linking many of our most important communities.
It is also dangerous – a fast road combined with many bends and with the addition of huge lorries and slow-moving agricultural vehicles.
Today we highlight the problem of safety on the A41, not because it is a new breaking story but because it is an issue that rears its head again and again.
We have considered launching a petition to call for immediate action to tackle the danger, in particular the installation of average speed cameras that guarantee a fine for those who drive too fast.
But we have held off on taking that move because we have been assured by senior sources that action will be taken and soon.
We, like the rest of the county, will be watching and waiting. And we hope in the meantime we will not have any more tragedies to report on for the stretch of road between Cosford, Whitchurch and beyond.
Talk is cheap and today we have many people in authority reassuring Salopians that this issue is a high priority.
North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan, writing in today’s Shropshire Star, says the “need for action is clear”. It is a sentiment backed by Wrekin MP Mark Pritchard. Councillor Rob Gittins speaks of his own experiences on the A41 as evidence of the need for action. Inspector Gavin Williams of West Mercia Police says the force is working alongside local authorities to review safety measures. Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion has also hinted that action will be taken.
All those in a position of influence are in agreement. Now they must work together to ensure that funding is there and that work is carried out imminently – not years down the line or even months away but as a matter of urgency.
There is precedent for this difficult situation. The A449 50mph dual carriageway between Hartlebury and Ombersley, in Worcestershire, was known as a ‘killer road’ with locals, with a number of tragedies in recent years.
Like the A41, it became almost routine for serious accidents to happen. Fatal crashes continued to shock locals, but they were never surprised.
Average speed cameras, as well as new road markings and techniques like lane narrowing have had a transformative effect on the A449.
It is now Shropshire's turn for investment on the A41.