Action On A642 Hotspot
5th March 2009
On Friday 20th February Mary held a summit with road safety experts in a renewed attempt to make the A642 a safer place for motorists. The meeting was attended by Mark Ramsden and Bob Whyatt, traffic engineers from Kirklees and Wakefield Councils respectively. They were joined by the Assistant Director of Kirklees Highways, Jacqui Gedman. Sgt Paul Denton from Kirklees Roads Policing Team and PC Woodhouse of Wakefield Police were also present.
Mary called the summit after a spate of tragic accidents on the road. She heard plans from both councils about how they will tackle speeding on the road and reduce deaths and serious injury.
Wakefield Council will implement several traffic calming measures by the summer. They are proposing gateways near Middlestown to slow down traffic to and from the village. They will introduce interactive signs that display a driver’s speed and signs to make the change in the speed limit by the NCM museum clearer, where it changes from 40 mph to 50 mph. Wakefield will also look at narrowing the road through Middlestown, adding hatched areas, more islands and chevrons.
Kirklees Council has already added islands to increase pedestrian crossing safety at Lepton village. There is a detection loop at the A642’s junction with Paul Lane that flashes a message to warn drivers on the A642 that someone is waiting to pull out.
Kirklees Council have plans to add signs and road markings from the Grange Moor roundabout to Middlestown. They will add hazard warning signs, a trail of high visibility studs and lines down the centre of the road. Mary also pressed them to add educational signs to tell drivers the number of fatalities on the road.
Mary Creagh MP said: “I held this meeting to get everyone round a table to tackle the issues together. There have been 13 deaths on the road in the last 3 years and I have been pushing for clearer plans from both councils on what they can do to cut the toll of death and injury.
The clear message from the police is that education is vital to cut speeds. We can only achieve that by telling people how dangerous the road is. I hope now that we will get the signs up to tell people about the road deaths and force them to think twice before they put their foot down. I shall be writing to residents in Middlestown to let them know about the planned improvements. They are sick of motorists speeding through the village. I shall continue to press the police for speed cameras on this road”