Make the A505 Safer: Our thoughts on safety improvement plans between Royston and Baldock

PUBLISHED: 07:01 11 October 2019

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

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The Crow has welcomed the announcement of new measures to improve safety on the A505 between Royston and Baldock.

Elaine Cooper's story 'A recipe for disaster'. Picture: Crow archiveElaine Cooper's story 'A recipe for disaster'. Picture: Crow archive

We have been running a campaign to Make the A505 Safer since January 2018, not relenting in calling on Herts County Council to improve the stretch and make proposals known to the thousands of motorists from our town and villages who regularly use the road.

READ MORE: Enough is enough! Join our Crow campaign to fight for a safer A505

Since plans and proposals were revealed at a meeting on Friday, we have learned that work improving the Litlington junction - including the slip lane - could start as soon as April next year.

There will also be a speed survey - with the possibility of reducing the speed between Odsey and Royston to 60mph - and investigation into why wrong-way driving is such a frequent occurence.

John Price's special report on the A505. Picture: Crow archiveJohn Price's special report on the A505. Picture: Crow archive

Herts police have confirmed to the Crow that their traffic management team will be supporting the county council's road safety unit as they carry out the on-site survey.

A proposal to prevent right turns from the Slip End and Odsey junctions is also being considered, as is adding a turn back facility past the BP garage for motorists to get to Baldock.

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Of course, this has to be a step in the right direction. This stretch has been making headlines for far too long - as our series of special reports on the history of crashes demonstrated last year - and anything that improves the layout, and the chances of motorists not to be involved in a crash, is a good thing.

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

READ MORE: Make the A505 Safer: History of crashes on 'road of danger'

The Litlington junction works is great news, that will hopefully make a big difference. And the collaboration between HCC and the police working to find out why there are so many wrong-way drivers is also a positive. It would be great if there were more definite plans for the other junctions, but it is a start.

It has emerged that one vehicle a day, on average, is turning down the wrong carriageway from the Odsey junction - a sickening statistic.

As part of the investigation, cameras could be installed and motorists who make a wrong turn could be interviewed to find out what caused them to make that decision.

We are extremely disappointed a roundabout at Odsey is no longer on the cards, as last year this proposal seemed to be the front-runner.

READ MORE: Improvements on A505 between Royston and Baldock 'may not happen until 2021'

But, if it's a case of further delays to action while waiting for funds that may never be allocated, or getting the ball rolling with changes now - the latter has to be the better option.

What we do know is we will continue to push for change and hold the county council to account on behalf of our readers - and we call on you to keep sharing your stories and opinions with us at news@royston-crow.co.uk, as they are invaluable in our fight to Make the A505 Safer.

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