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Shifnal blackspot is still dangerous councillor claims

By Deborah Hardiman | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Work to make a notorious accident blackspot safer is complete but a councillor claims it is still dangerous.

The speed limit at the Upton crossroads on the A464 near Shifnal has been reduced from 60mph to 40mph and central reservations installed in an attempt to improve road safety.

Shropshire councillor Ed Bird said the effectiveness of the junction improvements is being monitored, but more needs to be done after continuing issues with speeding motorists in the area.

The crossroads has become one of the county's worst accident blackspots and has seen a number of cars crash into buildings next to the carriageway which links the town to Wolverhampton.

Councillor Bird, of Shifnal South and Cosford ward, said: "The A464 is a very dangerous road. The problem is that the visibility is poor. That bit at Upton crossroads had some traffic lights for a while, but those are gone now.

"The work has been done and some traffic calming measures put in, but the consensus of opinion among the residents is that motorists are still coming through the town too fast. There have been reports of instances where drivers have gone round the traffic island too fast or have gone through the zebra crossing."

The move to change the road followed a string of collisions, including in March 2016 where a driver suffered a broken leg after his car clipped a wall and somersaulted through the air.

Prior to that accident there had been around eight collisions in four years including in 2013 when a blue Volkswagen Golf struck a barn at the junction, resulting in fears that the building may collapse.

There were also two fatal crashes in the 1990s along the stretch.

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As part of long-running efforts to address the issues highways contractors installed four-way temporary signals that changed after almost two minutes each way as part of a programme to monitor traffic behaviour and design the improvements.

But that led to complaints from motorists that the waiting time was too long.

The council's highways department said the junction was unsuitable for permanent signals as the equipment would “not adhere to the current design standards and safety criteria”.

Changes have come after Shifnal Town Council joined the national 20's Plenty' campaign in a bid to reduce speed limits.

Councillor Bird said he and other councillors in the area were helping to monitor traffic related issues which were being passed on to highways staff.

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman
@Deborahh_Star

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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