A19 ‘not danger­ous enough’ for funds

Sunderland Echo - - News - By Fiona Thomp­son fiona.thomp­son@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @fionath­omp­sonjp

Fund­ing to make the A19 safer will not be al­lo­cated by the Gov­ern­ment – be­cause it is not danger­ous enough.

De­spite hun­dreds of col­li­sions on the stretch through the re­gion, trans­port chiefs say the route is not high risk enough to win sup­port for im­prove­ments from the Safer Roads Fund.

The £175mil­lion fund was set up to tar­get the 50 A road sec­tions in Eng­land which car­ried the big­gest chance of death and se­ri­ous in­jury to road users.

Fig­ures of fa­tal, se­ri­ous and slight in­jury ac­ci­dents in 2016 are still be­ing cal­cu­lated and con­firmed and are set to be re­leased later this month, but ini­tial sta­tis­tics show be­tween the Wolvis­ton interchange and Testo’s Round­about at Boldon, there have been an es­ti­mated 36 col­li­sions in­volv­ing 88 ve­hi­cles.

These left 71 peo­ple in­jured, with six of those col­li­sions classed as se­ri­ous.

Cash from the fund has been awarded to a four-mile stretch of the of the A1290, from the A182 at Us­worth to A19 at Boldon, and an­other five-mile sec­tion of the A67 from the A66 to Bowes.

Eas­ing­ton MP Gra­hame Mor­ris has called on the Govon ern­ment to launch an inquiry into safety on the road in the hope mea­sures can be drafted in to re­duce the risk to driv­ers and pas­sen­gers.

Our Safe A19 cam­paign backs the pro­posal, with more than 1,130 names al­ready added to our Change. org pe­ti­tion, which urges the De­part­ment of Trans­port to look into the causes of col­li­sions and take ac­tion.

Mr Mor­ris has raised the is­sue in Par­lia­ment, with his lat­est queries ask­ing how much of that £175mil­lion will go on im­prov­ing safety the A19.

He has also asked about the cost of a fa­tal col­li­sion on an A road – but did not re­ceive a fig­ure.

Jesse Norman, Sec­re­tary of State for Trans­port, told Mr Mor­ris: “The £175mil­lion Safer Roads Fund tar­gets the 50 lo­cal author­ity ‘A’ road sec­tions in Eng­land that carry the high­est risk of death and se­ri­ous in­jury to road users, based on anal­y­sis by the Road Safety Foun­da­tion.

“The sec­tions of the A19 that are the re­spon­si­bil­ity of lo­cal high­way au­thor­i­ties do not fea­ture within this top 50 list and so are not el­i­gi­ble for the Safer Roads Fund.”

In re­la­tion to the cost of ac­ci­dents, he added: “The De­part­ment does not hold this in­for­ma­tion.”

Fund­ing of £3.9mil­lion has been al­lo­cated to re­pair 74,000 pot­holes across the re­gion, “over and above” the amount the Gov­ern­ment said it had com­mit­ted to re­pairs for the 2017/18 pe­riod.

To sign our pe­ti­tion, visit https://goo.gl/ub­d­hzF.

“The sec­tions of the A19 ... are not within this top 50 list” JESSE NORMAN

The scene of a re­cent crash on the A19 near Sea­ham, which in­volved six ve­hi­cles.

MP Gra­hame Mor­ris.

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