Campaigners who successfully called for the speed limit to be reduced on a section of the A46 in Worcestershire have visited the site to hear about the impact the measures have had.
After considering the views of the local community, National Highways has temporarily reduced the limit from 60mph to 40mph over a mile-long stretch of road at Hinton Cross following a number of collisions, with a view to making the lower speed limit permanent.
New signs and road markings have been installed from just north of Hinton Cross to just south of the B4078 at Sedgeberrow.
MPs Harriett Baldwin and Nigel Huddleston joined representatives from Ashton under Hill Parish Council and Sedgeberrow Parish Council and local resident Lucy Fletcher to see the work first hand. Ms Fletcher started a petition which collected more than 6,000 signatures calling for a speed reduction after being involved in a collision herself.
National Highways Head of Planning and Development Victoria Lazenby said: “Since the measures were completed in May, we’ve seen a big change in driver behaviour. Slowing the traffic on the main A46 now gives vehicles wanting to join from the local side roads extra time to complete their manoeuvres safely. It’s definitely had a positive effect on the local community.
“Safety is our highest priority at National Highways and we are always happy to listen to concerns and suggestions from people at the heart of a community to address the issues in hand.”
Harriett Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire, commented: “I am pleased that the 40 miles per hour limit is now active and I feel it is key that the local police step up their efforts to enforce the new limit.
“This change was brought about after local people complained about speeding motorists and the difficult challenges they have crossing the busy road at Hinton on the Green.
“We all hope that this will bring about better driver behaviour and a reduction in the number of accidents along this road. I understand that a speed activated warning sign may also be on the way, which is further good news for road safety along the A46.”
Nigel Huddleston, MP for Mid Worcestershire, commented: “I am pleased to see that National Highways has listened to the local community and commuters using the A46 and reduced the speed limit to 40mph over a 1.5 mile stretch at Hinton Cross.
“This I am sure will reduce collisions and make this major road far safer for all who travel on it.”
During the five-year period between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2021 there were 14 personal injury collisions within the speed limit reduction area resulting in 22 casualties.
Since the speed limit was reduced there has been one collision resulting in an injury, the severity of which was lower than it may have been had the vehicles involved been travelling at the former speed limit.
National Highways will continue to monitor the impacts of this temporary speed limit reduction for up to 18 months. This will inform the decision on whether to implement the reduction permanently.
(Picture – National Highways)