A19 safety call gets louder

Sunderland Echo - - Opinion - By Richard Ord

If there are 50 roads more danger­ous than the A19 then the na­tion’s trans­port sys­tem re­ally is in dire straits.

To­day we re­veal that Gov­ern­ment will not be al­lo­cat­ing funds to make this stretch of road safer be­cause, ac­cord­ing to their sys­tem of mea­sure­ment, it is not deemed danger­ous enough.

With £170mil­lion avail­able to tar­get the top 50 A roads car­ry­ing the big­gest risk of death and se­ri­ous in­jury to road users, we thought the A19 was nailed on to get some cash.

Lat­est stats re­veal that be­tween the Wolvis­ton interchange and Testo’s Round­about there have been an es­ti­mated 36 col­li­sions, in­volv­ing 88 ve­hi­cles and re­sult­ing in 71 peo­ple be­ing in­jured.

De­spite these woeful sta­tis­tics, the A19 isn’t go­ing to get a penny from the fund.

Ei­ther the cur­rent mea­sure­ment sys­tem is flawed, or the na­tional road in­fra­struc­ture is worse than we thought.

But if the Gov­ern­ment think this re­sponse is go­ing to see the pub­lic back down from the cam­paign to make the A19 safer, it has an­other thing com­ing.

More than 1,000 peo­ple have signed our pe­ti­tion press­ing the De­part­ment for Trans­port to lis­ten to the con­cerns of the North East pub­lic and launch an inquiry into the causes of the col­li­sions that put lives at risk.

Point­ing out that there are more danger­ous roads in the coun­try will not re­as­sure the pub­lic.

The A19 may not, in the eyes of the Gov­ern­ment, be danger­ous enough for one pot of cash, but that does not mean the road is not danger­ous.

The call for an inquiry is not be­ing shut up by this an­nounce­ment, it’s get­ting louder.

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