A4 Accident Blackspot Needs Urgent Attention

Residents Have Called For Lower Speed Limits At Marsh Benham

15.04.2014

Residents of a small village in Berkshire have called for lower speed limits to be placed on a notoriously dangerous stretch of the A4.

People in Marsh Benham believe the section between the junctions for the A34 and Denford is a "death trap", Newbury Weekly News reports.

A cyclist was airlifted to hospital this week (April 10th) after suffering serious neck injuries following a collision with a car near the Milkhouse Road junction. He is currently in a stable condition.

This followed on from a fatal accident in February, which occurred close to the same junction. Although excessive speed has not been directly attributed to either incident, locals believe road safety measures need to be introduced as a matter of urgency.

Indeed, there have been 28 accidents on this stretch of the A4 in the past five years alone, three of which resulted in fatalities.

Speaking to the news provider, Marsh Benham resident Angela McFarlane said: "We're not asking for the moon or the sun - we've asked for a traffic island. We are the only right-hand turn between Hungerford and Newbury that doesn't have one."

West Berkshire Council spokesman Keith Ulyatt insisted that locals' suggestions have been taken onboard, although proposals to lower the 60 mph speed limit were knocked back by police in 2012.

Chris Hulme, traffic management officer from the Hampshire and Thames Valley joint operations roads policing specialist unit, told the newspaper that simply introducing a new speed limit is not always effective, as drivers often disregard these if they believe they are unwarranted.

"Changing the number on the sign alone will not achieve the desired effect in reducing traffic speeds and improving road safety," he was quoted as saying.

According to official figures provided by the Department for Transport, the number of road collisions that result in deaths or serious injuries continues to fall across the UK as a whole, although there are clearly some roads where accident rates are much higher than others.

Expert Opinion
As the residents have already said, the amount of incidents on this particular road is very concerning, especially with a fatality this year and the more recent serious collision involving a cyclist.

“There has been much attention on the safety of cyclists following several fatalities in London over the last 12 months and more does need to be done to protect them, but that must be replicated throughout the UK and consider the safety of all road users.

“We see the impact that road accidents have on people’s lives on a daily basis and we have helped thousands of seriously injured people get their lives back on track. It is important that a common goal is reached and that goal is to keep reducing the amount of road traffic collisions and injuries.”
Colin Ettinger, Partner