'No justification' for further improvements at A1 junction in Northumberland

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Highways England has stated there is ‘no justification’ for further improvements to a junction on the A1 in Northumberland.

Concerns about the quality of night-time visibility at the Detchant junction, to the north of Belford, were raised by Coun Thomas Keys at a meeting of Belford Parish Council.

However, Highways England responded by pointing out that there is a low accident rate at the junction.

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Responding to Belford Parish Council, it stated: “Improvements to junctions on our network are prioritised, with sites that have the greatest numbers of collisions being assigned the highest priority.

The A1 at Detchant, near Belford.The A1 at Detchant, near Belford.
The A1 at Detchant, near Belford.

“For consistency we use the latest five-year personal injury collision record to assess the need for improvement. I can advise that only one slight collision has been recorded in the vicinity of this junction in the last five years (September 2016) and this involved a single vehicle losing control on the bend on the minor road approach to the A1, rather than on the A1 itself.

“As you will appreciate, the installation of street lighting schemes is not common on the A1 and, with the exception of the junctions located on Berwick bypass, no junctions on the A1 single carriageway road in Northumberland have been illuminated.

“Further to this, there are considerable costs associated with installing and maintaining street lighting but due to the low numbers of collisions that have taken place at this location, Highways England would prioritise any available funding for the locations with a greater need for improvement.

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“This junction has been provided with large signs installed on the approaches to the junction and with directional signs pointing into the side road.

“Additionally, reflective road markings, including numerous arrows have been laid and illuminated road studs define the deceleration and waiting area in the middle of the carriageway.

“It is with regret that I must advise you that there is currently no justification for implementing any further improvements at this location.”

Junction improvements have been carried out, or are planned, at 11 junctions to the north of Ellingham as part of £290million improvement and dualling works.

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These include Fenham le Moor, Outchester, Adderstone Mains, Newstead, Cheswick Buildings, Fenhamhill, Haggerston Castle, Warenford, Purdy Lodge and Belford Station Road.

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