Traffic lights realistic option to make Hunters Lodge junction on A35 safer (From Bridport and Lyme Regis News)
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Traffic lights realistic option to make Hunters Lodge junction on A35 safer
SOMEONE could die every year if nothing is done to make the Hunters Lodge junction on the A35 safer.
That was the warning from the Devon and Somerset fire service investigator George Setter at a public meeting in Axminster Guildhall.
This followed the statement from Neil Parish MP that traffic lights could be the only realistic option to make that area of the road safer.
More than 100 concerned residents had gathered in the room to voice their concerns about the junction on the A35, after a crash between a Vauxhall Corsa and a van claimed the lives of two elderly holiday makers in July.
Mr Setter, who offered to give the report to Mr Parish, said: “Our statistics show that on average over the past five years the fire service has had to attend a major collision at the junction every 12 months, with potential fatalities.
“If nothing is done and the road is not improved, our statistics show this trend will continue.”
Mr Parish took questions and suggestions from the crowd on what the best solution would be.
Speed limits, new signage and a new slip road were all suggested, but the clear favourites from the audience were either a roundabout or traffic lights.
Mr Parish said: “Looking at the cost, it would take a lot more money for the roundabout to be installed than new traffic lights, looking at £1.5 million to install a roundabout.
“Traffic lights are realistically the best and most likely option to make the junction safer, also providing more safe crossings for pedestrians, and I will push for as much as I can possibly get.”
The public meeting followed a consultation between Mr Parish, the Highways Agency and 20 local councillors last week to discuss possible solutions.
It was revealed to the crowd the proposals put forward by the Highways Agency were not good enough and the agency had offered to go back and come up with a new scheme.
Mr Parish added: “The Highways Agency have recognised there is a problem here and that is often half the battle in getting something done.
“They came up with a solution which was not good enough and they will go back to their office and look at other possible solutions, but I can assure everybody we are taking this matter extremely seriously.”
The meeting was also attended by Gerald Manning, the son of Pamela Manning who died at the junction in July, and he described the junction as a nightmare.
He said: “I owe it to my mother to do everything I can to sort this junction out, it is a complete nightmare and I can't believe nothing has been done before.”