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Residents fear fatality if road improvements are delayed further
10:03am Friday 30th August 2013 in News
THEY were promised their road would be made safer.
But after another accident, residents in an area of Romsey are angry that they have been left waiting.
Improvements to School Road were planned as part of the major Abbotswood housing development, but before work begins, the roadworks at Cupernham Lane and Winchester Hill must be completed.
The Abbotswood consortium is funding the work, which will close the road at one end to stop through traffic coming around the corner towards Braishfield Road, which has already seen four accidents this year.
Residents are now saying that the latest crash,which occurred this week, involving a BMW and a Vauxhall Vectra, could have been prevented if work had been carried out sooner.
Emergency services were on the scene on Wednesday and one of the people involved were taken to hospital with minor injuries.
A campaign to change the road layout began after a serious car crash on New Year’s Day, 2007, when a driver lost control of his vehicle, smashing through a garden wall and damaging a number of parked cars.
People who live in the area have long feared that increased traffic from the Abbotswood development would result in more incidents in School Road.
The scheme will see 800 houses constructed on the site to the north of Romsey and more than 200 of the homes on the development are already occupied.
Nikki Riches, 39, a teacher who lives on School Road, said: “Residents have been saying for many years that this is an accident waiting to happen.
“Living here, you notice that there has been an increase in traffic flow. I’m really saddened by this accident, because if something had been done sooner it wouldn’t have happened.
“This road is going to be a diversion route while work is carried out to other roads. I don’t understand why people aren’t listening.
“It’s frustrating for the residents, who see how dangerous this is on a daily basis.
“It feels to me that they are doing all the work in the wrong order.”
Another resident, Vic Hemmings, 64, said: “If the road closure is delayed until the completion of the Braishfield Road and Winchester Hill traffic lights, School Road will become the relief route during the roadworks.
“Therefore an already dangerous junction will be made a lot worse by the additional vehicles including those from Abbotswood. It is only time before there is a fatality.
“I think the council should do something about the order the work will be carried out, rather than put lives in danger.
“Closing School Road at one end would make an immense difference because it would stop the traffic speeding around that bend.
“I’m actually amazed that there hasn’t been a more serious accident involving a pedestrian.”
Hampshire County Council, who are responsible for timetabling the road improvements, were unable to comment at time of going to press.
l The county council is asking for feedback on its traffic management policy and the way roads are maintained, including speed limits, traffic signs, parking restrictions, pedestrian crossings and traffic-calming measures.
The consultation runs until October 6 and the comments will be summarised and reported to the Government.
For more information, visit: hants.gov.uk/transport-schemes-index/consultation-highway-management.htm
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