Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Fatal crash strengthens local woman’s petition for road change

Kim Seviour at the A350 Lacock crossroads

Kim Seviour at the A350 Lacock crossroads

Local people are calling for urgent changes to be made to the A350 Lacock crossroads following the recent death of a Melksham man who crashed at the busy junction.

An online petition was set up by local woman Kim Seviour just a week before the crash. It calls on Wiltshire Council to alter the markings on the lanes that run through the traffic lights, in both directions at the A350 Lacock crossroads.

The number of signatures on the petition more than doubled following the fatal accident of Melksham man Darren Honeyball, and now has over 2,000 signatures and 700 comments.

Kim said, “I wasn’t expecting this reaction when I first put the petition online but since the sad death of Darren Honeyball, hundreds of people have expressed their concerns and worries about how dangerous the junction is.

“The amount of signatures and the comments highlights how there are many issues with the junction and how dangerous it is. People are genuinely afraid to drive through the junction, which is understandable.

“The current layout of splitting into two lanes of straight-forward traffic before joining into one again, encourages drivers to try to overtake each other where there isn’t always adequate road length. This regularly causes near misses (I’ve experienced them myself) where cars can impact either side-on, or with vehicles travelling in the opposite direction when there isn’t enough room to filter back in.

“Ideally I’d like to see the two straight-on lanes changed in both directions so that one lane is designated left-turn only, with only one designated for straight-on traffic.

“Narrowing the lane past the junction, making it clear that it’s a single lane, would hopefully also reduce temptation and ability to overtake.

“Philip Whitehead from Wiltshire Council has acknowledged that something needs to be done but in his statement he didn’t mention changing road markings or the extending the merging lanes which is what a lot of people feel needs to be looked at. Wiltshire Council cannot ignore 2,000 voices and if they do, they will be making a mistake because people feel very strongly about this.

“We need to keep the pressure on to ensure something is done. We will wait and see what Wiltshire Council come up with for the new design of the road.”

Jan Tawn wrote, “I have been in a number of near misses on this spot when I travelled daily to Chippenham from Melksham. Some drivers seem to be prepared to risk all to get one car ahead, just because they can.”

Nicola Gerrish said, “I agree. I was 30 seconds from being involved in that December accident and I would not want to witness such devastation again.

“I was very shook up for weeks after, just thinking of that poor woman’s family and the injured.

“It’s made me very wary of the junction and for my 20-year-old daughter that has to travel that way regularly.

“I am a local person and I think this would hopefully make people think instead of it looking like a race line which I think that’s what drivers think.”

Councillor Jon Hubbard is encouraging everyone to sign the petition. He said, “This is a really good idea and a much-needed change. Please support this and join me in signing this petition.”

A Wiltshire Council spokesperson said, “We take highway safety very seriously, and constantly monitor the collision rates on roads to prioritise any safety works.

“In addition, the signals at this junction are due to be upgraded and we are planning to install a signal controlled right turn into Mons Lane in the coming financial year. As part of this work, we will look into the lane markings and the operation of the signals.”

You can sign the petition here: www.ipetitions.com/petition/a350-lacock-markings/