Make the A505 Safer: Motorists urged to take more care on Royston to Baldock stretch

PUBLISHED: 09:50 22 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:58 22 February 2018

Royston-based driving instructor Alan Haynes says the Odsey turning for Ashwell is particularly dangerous. Picture: Danny Loo

Royston-based driving instructor Alan Haynes says the Odsey turning for Ashwell is particularly dangerous. Picture: Danny Loo

Archant

Letters and comments have been coming in thick and fast about the problems with the A505 since we launched our campaign – but the Crow has also received many urging drivers to take more responsibility while on the stretch.

The busy A505 Odsey turning viewed from Station Road. Picture: Danny LooThe busy A505 Odsey turning viewed from Station Road. Picture: Danny Loo

We’re just weeks away from the conclusion of the feasibility study by Herts County Council – which should indicate what improvements to the road need to be made.

While we believe changes are needed, we’ve also had letters and comments about how drivers should take more care on the road.

John Burgess said: “Almost every single reported road traffic incident over a period of many years has involved an error of judgement on the part of at least one of the vehicle operators involved.

“Whether that error is due to inexperience, incompetence or downright stupidity, the truth is that the road itself is not inherently dangerous.

“Someone in the vast majority of those incidents has been driving too fast, too close, or too aggressively, with too little attention to the conditions and has failed to anticipate a developing situation or negotiate what should be predictable hazards safely.

“This is not to say that the road cannot be improved however those measures take time, investment and are generally outside of the control of the users of the road.

Alan Haynes – has been a driving instructor in Royston for four years, and uses the road frequently while doing his job – agrees drivers do need to take more care, but that the layout of the road needs to be addressed.

He told the Crow: “I drive down that road, both on my own and with learners, about eight times a day.

In parts it’s very hilly, quite narrow and there are the cut-throughs.

“A lot of people don’t know what speed the road is, they slam their brakes on at the speed cameras thinking it’s 60 when it’s a 70mph road.

“There is one area in particular, the Odsey turning for Ashwell, where it’s just so dangerous. No one understands the give way sign if there’s two cars waiting to go across, and there’s a dip in the road, so you can’t see.

“Yes, it is about sensible driving and knowing your route, but we have to accept people make mistakes – and it’s the road layout that makes those mistakes much bigger than they are.

“If you haven’t got the confidence you’re going to find it very difficult to get out, or if you take risks and go to soon you’re putting others in danger.

“Personally, I think there needs to be a roundabout at the Odsey junction, and the stretch should be 50mph.

“I have had to slam on my brake, it’s scary – now I drive with my foot over the brake in case anyone pulls out.”

More than 1,100 people have signed the Crow’s petition for change on the A505.

To show your support go to www.change.org/p/hertfordshire-county-council-make-the-a505-safer-between-royston-and-baldock to sign the petition.

You can also tweet or mention @roystoncrow on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #MakeTheA505Safer.

And you can send comments, opinions and stories to news@royston-crow.co.uk.

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