Monday, 2 November 2009

Road Safety in Lightwater

Wednesday 28th October

The question of barriers has been raised again, following the lamentable deaths on August bank holiday 2009 on the A322 Lightwater By-pass.

Seemingly, a driver heading northbound lost control of a vehicle and crossed the central reservation, colliding head-on into another vehicle driving southbound. Two deaths were instant, but there were critical admittances to Frimnley Park Hospital where another person regrettably died.

I use this road several times per day, and have done since 2002 when I moved to Lightwater. I have to say, that while I am no highway engineer, I do not consider the road to be inherently unsafe. But because it is a 'fast' road, when things go wrong they have the potential to go very wrong, as was witnessed earlier this year with the accident involving the motorcyclist. As such, I wholly support the case for central barriers at this location.

After the accident, I made enquiries of the County Highways Engineers for an update on how soon we might expect barriers and what priority this road had on the 'Dangerous Roads List', if there were such a thing. Seemingly, Lightwater is 11th out of over 100 roads in Surrey where there have been fatal accidents, a number which frankly I find startling. However, while there are calls for immediate barriers, the County Officers assured me that these roads are re-prioritised annually in April, judged upon the number and severity of accidents each time.It is likely that the A322 will be pushed up that list.

Regrettably, barriers cannot bring back those lost at this location and we can only be relieved that such incidences are mercifully rare. However, I shall now be pushing officers to ensure that a case is made to have these barriers installed at the earliest opportunity, or at least, some form of safety measure that leads to better awareness of the hazard at this location.

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