I READ last week’s article ‘The most dangerous stretch of road in Britain…’ with great interest.
For years, those living along the length of the A1 have campaigned, pleaded and also been promised that the A1 would be fully dualled up to Edinburgh.
Indeed, I believe that promise has been made by successive MPs campaigning for Parliament since the 1960s.
As yet, and for the foreseeable future, it is unlikely to happen regardless of the fact that, at present, the A1 is a deathtrap from where it is reduced to a single carriageway at Morpeth until it reaches Edinburgh.
The patches of dualling north of Morpeth do little for safety, indeed I believe that they make matters worse, not better.
Putting up signs to reduce speed to 50 and notices to beware of speed/junctions are all very well, but how many drivers really take any notice, especially those who travel the route on a regular basis?
All very well are such measures when the weather is fine and in good visibility, but what would happen at night or in poor visibility? The restricted speed of 50 wouldn’t be low enough then, even if adhered to.
What about putting in a roundabout at the Swarland/Guyzance crossing? Vehicles approaching the area would have to slow in order to negotiate the structure. It would be visible in all weather conditions and there would be less risk to vehicles crossing as a result. I understand that studies have shown that roundabouts have a very good safety record.
Surveys have also shown that the damage incurred in roundabout crashes was significantly reduced. We all know that it comes down to cost, however, can we really afford to do little or nothing?
Given the fact that according to the writer in last week’s article, every accident costs approx £1.8million, surely any improvements to the road would, in the long run, end up costing the council far less in time, money and lives.