Time to rectify this oversight
PUBLISHED: 17:50 04 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:59 11 May 2010
There has been discussion regarding the Ashwell and Steeple Morden junction with the A505 ever since I ve lived in the district almost 25 years ago, and probably for many years before that. I ve no doubt that discussion will continue in an effort to try
There has been discussion regarding the Ashwell and Steeple Morden junction with the A505 ever since I've lived in the district almost 25 years ago, and probably for many years before that.
I've no doubt that discussion will continue in an effort to try to find a solution for this difficult junction for many years yet. I wonder how many lives must be lost or blighted during this prevarication.
My experience of this junction is that those wishing to exit the A505 on their way to Ashwell sometimes lose patience.
Some will attempt to cross when a vehicle is also attempting to cross from the Ashwell junction, resulting in a "deadly embrace" where they meet on the A505.
Those crossing from Ashwell have the right-of-way, but there are no worded signs warning those crossing from the A505 to give way.
There are simply a few lines in the road which are too easily missed, misunderstood, or ignored.
Crossing the A505 from any direction, or joining the existing flow of traffic on it calls for daring and quick reactions and it really shouldn't.
I wonder if these attributes could decline with age? What if you're driving a slow vehicle?
The Baldock bypass has been hugely successful, encouraging many more vehicles to use the A505. The sheer amount of traffic on the A505 has made this junction more dangerous, and that danger has increased since the bypass.
If traffic were slowed to 50mph as some people wish, this would simply offer fewer breaks in the traffic for drivers coming from Ashwell to cross the junction, or to join the flow of traffic heading east towards Royston.
Fewer opportunities, too, for those wishing to exit the A505 to Ashwell, or to make a 'U' turn. Drivers would need to take more risks, not fewer.
Many recent 'safety improvements' have been carried out near or at this junction, including new speed cameras, landscaping, new crash barriers, while a footpath has been laid between the crash barriers on one section.
How have these 'improvements' helped? Why did nobody think to repair the road at the intersection?
It's time to get real.
Repairing the road at the intersection may improve safety.
Erecting signs informing those exiting the A505 from the east, heading to Ashwell that they must give way to those crossing from Ashwell may improve safety.
Slowing traffic on the A505 to below the national speed will make the junction more dangerous.
Erecting more speed cameras will not help, and is actually foolish.
Building a roundabout there will not help, and will cause traffic to jam on the A505.
Installing traffic lights will work, but will also cause traffic to jam on the A505.
Building a horrendously expensive flyover or underpass is the only solution. And who will do this?
The Baldock bypass is popular and successful, and rightly so. Nobody in the Highways Dept apparently questioned how it would impact on this junction.
It's time they rectified their oversight. Who knows, they might save some lives.
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