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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 13:22 
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http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-w ... -20215459/

A55 is a 'catastrophe waiting to happen'

Dec 7 2007 by Carl Butler, Daily Post

THE A55 is a “catastrophe waiting to happen”, one of Britain’s top traffic cops warned last night.

A catalogue of major hazards along the 80 mile (130km) north Wales artery will be highlighted today by police bosses who want to stir the Welsh Assembly Government into action.

Chief Superintendent Geraint Anwyl, chairman of the National Roads Policing Intelligence Forum, says a whole raft of safety measures are needed to cut the numbers killed and injured.

He says the infrastructure of the road it not up to standard for a dual carriageway that forms part of Euroroute 22, between Hull and Dublin.

The danger points which are endangering the lives of thousands of motorists each week, include:

Five bus stops with no protection on the expressway near Llanfairfechan

88 lay-bys, some of which are too short for lorries to pull in and out of safely

No hard-shoulder along the entire route

A cycle track crossing the road near Penmaenmawr

Officially marked pedestrian crossing points on busy stretches carrying 70mph and 50mph traffic

Too many roundabouts

In the last year alone the Daily Post has reported on at least nine fatalities along the A55, stretching from Holyhead right through to the Cheshire border.

In the most recent incident last Thursday, 74-year-old Henry Rees Lewis from Wrexham died trying to cross the route during the evening rush hour.

The worst accident blackspot is Rhuallt Hill, near St Asaph, where over 100 smashes have happened since the beginning of April.

One solution – though costly – would be the introduction of North Wales’ first “average speed over distance” control, which would pick up motorists speeding up and down the hill.

That would involve a pair of video cameras positioned at a known distance apart with infra-red illuminators that can read number plates and calculate how fast a vehicle has travelled.

Today Chief Supt Anwyl will be calling on members of the North Wales Police Authority to lend their weight in pressing for urgent action by the Welsh Assembly Government and local authorities.

The call comes amid growing concern about the volume of heavy traffic along the route, the potentially lethal condition of many lorries, particularly those owned by overseas firms, and about the standard of driving.

A major contribution to road safety would be the provision of a secure overnight truckstop. There are already plans for stops in the Caerwys area near Holywell, which face strong opposition from local residents.

“So much for a Euroroute,” said Ch Supt Anwyl.

“It’s crazy that there isn’t one (a truck stop) anywhere along the A55, and with so many lorries carrying valuable cargoes it’s not surprising that drivers don’t want to park up somewhere they don’t consider safe,” he said.

There is also concern about the amount of time spent by police officers on tasks which, in England, are fulfilled by employees of the Highway Agency. These include protecting broken-down vehicles and escorting them to safety.

“We would like the Welsh Assembly to agree to that being done in Wales, as thousands of hours of police time is spent on those tasks, taking them away from core duties,” said the Chief Superintendent.

“Something must be done about the situation because the A55 at present is a catastrophe waiting to happen.

“We cannot stand back and do nothing because the situation is getting worse as the volume of heavy traffic increases, and that is why we hope that local authorities and the Welsh Assembly Government will listen to us,” he added.

Mark McArthur, spokesman for road safety and transport group Forward, welcomed the A55 improvement plans.

“When this road was built we did not have the traffic volumes of HGVs that we now have and it was never intended to take the weight of traffic and that needs addressing.

“One of the biggest safety issues on a dual carriageway is to have proper safe grade junctions and on the A55 many are not graded properly to allow traffic to merge at speed.

“I know the Road Haulage Association will also welcome any proposal for overnight stops. Hard shoulders are also critical when you have heavy lorries, you need space for them to get off the road.

“But average speed cameras are the worst safety idea. It forces the driver’s attention away from advance observation and makes them focus on the speedometer.”

Campaigners at Speed Safe, an organisation which does not believe speed cameras improve safety, said average speed cameras led to “obsessive driver behaviour.”

He said: “I am really very, very worried about average speed cameras. They tend to place them in areas where there have been temporary high incidents of accidents.

“When there is any improvement and this temporary recent history of high numbers drops, they attribute this to the average speed cameras and use that as justification for introducing more.

“There is no benefit. The whole thing is a nonsense.”

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 13:42 
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Speed Safe?

Sounds like 'Forward' have the right idea though.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 13:54 
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RobinXe wrote:
Speed Safe?

Sounds like 'Forward' have the right idea though.

Is Mark McArthur of "Forward" the same as Mark McArthur-Christie who used to be a leading light in the ABD?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 13:55 
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PeterE wrote:
RobinXe wrote:
Speed Safe?

Sounds like 'Forward' have the right idea though.

Is Mark McArthur of "Forward" the same as Mark McArthur-Christie who used to be a leading light in the ABD?


:yesyes:

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 13:56 
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RobinXe wrote:
Speed Safe?


Corrupted us.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 17:53 
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Dangerous road !!!

Don't fix the road, spend the money on an expensive speed camera instead.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 18:13 
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I'm sorry. Part way through that I thought they were actually going to suggest improving the road. How silly I am. :(

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 15:17 
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So many incidents at St Asaph?

But.. this one mobile scam hot spot. The van known to lurk there very often.

So.. :scratchchin: a cam not prevented carnage. So.. let;s resolve the problem by.. another scam :banghead:

How about simply sorting out the dodgy engineering.? :?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 08:37 
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It’s more like they’ve found that they make allot of money out of the one camera so they want to put another one there, using "there are lots of accidents" as an excuse.

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