Call for urgent safety action on dangerous A697

Councillor Glen Sanderson on the A697
Councillor Glen Sanderson on the A697

A campaigner fighting for safety improvements on the A697 has called for urgent action, after discovering it has double the average number of accidents.

Most recent figures from the Department for Transport show that a rural A-class road has an average of 0.19 collisions per million kilometres.

But data seen by Coun Glen Sanderson has revealed that the A697 has a worse record, with 0.38 collisions per vehicle kilometre (K), up to the end of 2011.

And following a series of crashes on the road in recent months – which have included a number of fatalities – the Chevington with Longhorsley ward member fears that the statistics would be made ‘even worse’.

“This information shows that the A697 is more dangerous than other similar A-class roads and puts it right at the top of the list of roads needing attention,” said Coun Sanderson.

He added: “I feel these figures make powerful points, and highlight the need for urgent attention on the A697.

“The A1 has obviously been the major issue of late because of its appalling accident record but we must not lose sight that the A697 is very dangerous.”

The figures show that from 2007 to 2011, there were 50 collisions on the road between the A1 and Weldon Bridge – a stretch of close to 11K. Over the same period, there were 90 collisions along the far longer section of the A697 from Weldon Bridge to the Scottish Border – which is nearly 57K-long.