Community leaders have stated that they are behind a campaign for speed awareness signage and enforcement along a busy road in the Moorlands. The ‘Kingsley Moor Locals’ have campaigned for some time for speed reduction along the A522 from Cheadle to Cellarhead road following a number of road traffic collisions – including one fatal.
Community leaders have stated that they are behind a campaign for speed awareness signage and enforcement along a busy road in the Moorlands.
The ‘Kingsley Moor Locals’ have campaigned for some time for speed reduction along the A522 from Cheadle to Cellarhead road following a number of road traffic collisions – including one fatal.
The speed was reduced along part of the road to 40mph but the Kingsley Moor Locals group are campaigning for signage and speed camera vans to help enforce the speed reduction.
In an open email to a number of parish, town, district, and county councillors, a spokesman for the group said: “After two decades of the Cellarhead to Cheadle Road A52 to A522 being crashed into, locals here managed to establish reduced speeds in an attempt to calm what was seen by many as a road literally left to be the rat run by shifts, heavy haulage and tourists simply to make up time.
“Two and a half years ago, a reduced speed plan was implemented bringing down the national speed limit that was greater than the A50 dual carriageway down to a 40/50MPH speed limit on our rural blackspot road.
“Initially three zones of 40 mph had been identified, however, told except one, or lose the rest.
“We folded and allowed one 40 mph zone at the fastest part of our downward stretch of this Moorland road.
“Now a major commuter and haulage route, with its moors-topped winding slopes, blind bends, dips and ridges, incorporating an old toll cottage this road was left to cope with modern day vehicles and heavy haulage unenforced.
“On implementation and for the first two weeks, the 40 mph zone had almost full compliance.
“Then, as is now, drivers realised there was no enforcement or supervision of this major stretch so why bother slowing down at all? Crashes followed. The plan of two decades waiting, was left to fail.
“Both entry points to the then installed 40 zone were smashed off within two weeks (it took two years for these posts to be replaced) our repeated cries for replacement left unanswered, with many more crashes along the way.
“Locals are fed up with broken promises, we were told that 40 and 50mph would be painted on the road surface to help highlight the new lowered speed zones. We were told that key bend sections below Jones and Shuffs would have two “40 mph bend” signs added to ask drivers to slow down at the notorious winding black spot, where two smashes took place only last week.
“Two and a half years on, we are still left with the reply that signs are on order, even though Staffordshire Highways have since communicated that nothing more is to be added to this plan.
“We asked for extended solid lines to prevent vehicles overtaking last minute, leaving them travelling around blind bends head into on-coming traffic, but alas Staffordshire Highways says there are no more modifications planned due to fiscal restraints, even though £50 million has just been spent on an A50 junction at Uttoxeter to feed in directly onto the A522.
“We ask, could the four 40 mph signs replacing the original 11 national speed limit signs removed, be placed where they could be seen, and again Highways said they were at the correct distance apart, so No.
“Even when one is shoved up an embankment above drivers’ eye view, just over the blind brown of Dilhorne crossroads, it stays put.
“We used the recently published advised data of 2020 showing all the supply routes to this Moorlands stretch are within the highest speed fine results for Staffordshire, totalling over 5,500 fines – yet we are told there is no money to have the ad hoc camera van assigned to our rat-run blackspot road- left unenforced trapped in the middle, even when all these roads lead onto ours.
“Having a new £50 million junction now feeding in, more diverted sat nav commuters, tourists and heavy goods at both ends of the A522, the highways plea of poverty for our miniscule demands, seems hard to accept.
“These demands add legitimate enforcement to the overall effectiveness of the speed reduction plan and are vital to justify the first phase already installed.
“Councillors and Staffordshire Highways – you have seen the recent smashes over two days recently, and now have the enforcement camera van request, plus missing vital signage in front of you for your next council meeting.
“We all now ask for cross party support to firmly enforce these reduced speed limits and make this major link road finally safe for all.
“No more excuses, no more two decades of surveys, no more letting this deadly ludicrous situation continue on your watch.
“Locals and families deserve better, we ask that you now – make this road safe.
“Camera van enforcement added to the 40 and 50 mph route with speeding and tailgating fined.
“Two ‘do 40 on bend’ signage by Hazelwall House bends. 40 mph painted on roads on entry to 40 mph zones. Solid lines extended where appropriate to prevent blind bend head on overtaking.
“We ask locals to drive within the limits set and finally help us all to slow a 20 year speeding momentum.
“Please now make “your” family link road safe.”
After being contacted by the Times & Echo for a response to this email, here’s what the following community leaders said.
Kingsley Parish councillor and SMDC councillor Elsie Fallows said: “Both councillor Aberley and myself have had numerous emails and conversations with residents of Kingsley Moor regarding the speed limit signs.
“We have bought this to the attention of Kingsley Parish Council, discussed it with Staffordshire County Council, and councillor Mike Worthington who has also been in full support of the situation.
“We were lead to believe that once the signs were in place then we could expect to have a camera van enforcement or some speed control available from time to time.
“This would help with speeding along a busy road thus reducing accidents.
“I believe that Staffordshire Highways should look at this stretch of road again checking the camber of the road against difference speeds. These bends can be very misleading to someone new to the area.”
Cheadle town and district councillor Gary Bentley said: “We want to work together on this.
“I think that there should be a sign saying that there is a police van in the area – even if it is just put up now and again to act as a deterrent.
“Also you can get one of those flashing speed signs for around £1,000 so why don’t we buy a couple and then swap them around.”
Cheadle Town Mayor Ian Plant said: “Any time there is an accident, everyone looks for reasons why, people must drive more responsibly and within the speed limit.
“Leek Road has had time and money spent on it, more signs and a reduction in the speed limit, 99.9 percent of drivers on that or any other road drive within their capabilities.
“Speed does not get you from A to B any quicker, there is always some obstacles, i.e. more traffic pedestrians etc.”
Cheadle town and district councillor Ian Whitehouse said: “This has been going on for quite a while now. I have put it on the agenda for the next Cheadle Town Council meeting, also spoken to councillor Mike Worthington with regards to the signs.
“My view is that the road is only dangerous because of the speed that people are travelling at.
“Signs may help, but I would have liked to see accident blackspot signs may slow drivers down and maybe save lives. The department of transport don’t believe signs work but I think drivers would take notice of a sign like that. I have also requested that the Speed Camera van attends this road like down at Checkley more often especially first thing in the morning and 5 o’clock at night no good in the middle of the day.”
MP for Staffordshire Moorlands Karen Bradley said: “I am aware of the concerns that have been raised.”
Cheadle town and district councillor Kate Martin said: “I support this especially as it should have been done before.
“We were approached last year about this and recommendations were made for signage and that they were going to do it.”
Kingsley Parish councillor James Aberley said: “Last year, just after I got elected as the councillor for Churnet, councillor Fallows and myself went to visit the residents of Kingsley Moor and saw first hand the situation as regards the traffic calming that had been put in place, as well as further improvements that would be required to make the road safer.
“We have been lobbying the county council over the past 12 months to encourage them to review the situation now the speed measures are in place, in light of the fact that people are still having serious crashes on this stretch of road, and will continue to do so with a renewed sense of urgency.
“We would call for the county council to implement speed camera monitoring on the road as we believe this is the only way that people will effectively take positive action.”
Staffordshire County councillor Mark Deaville said: “We do listen to residents when they have concerns about road safety in their area their comments are massively important to us. Over recent years considerable funding has been spent addressing concerns on this stretch of road along the A52/A522.
“Speed limits have been reduced, signs have been improved and changes to the road have all been made to help improve safety.
“Investigations into routine speed enforcement to promote road safety along the route are ongoing, but obviously it is important that everyone drives with due care and attention and respect for other road users. It is also vital that they drive to the conditions of the road.
“Our highways teams will continue to monitor the location alongside all other roads where residents, pedestrians, drivers and riders have road safety concerns and target our resources where they are needed most.”
Staffordshire County councillor Mike Worthington said: “I have sent in an urgent request for the missing signs which should have been in place but whether they would have prevented the accidents is doubtful as speedsters do not respect speed limits.
“I have every sympathy with the residents and will assist where possible to help but in my opinion a camera is the only solution on that stretch of road.”
Cheadle town and district councillor Peter Elkin said: “I do recall our previous efforts. It really is a difficult one. Speed lights and traffic calming come to mind, but the one big problem is the speed that traffic goes. What should be done is for the speeding traffic and offences to be enforced, the police should be the law enforcers.
“The pressure that the Kingsley group bring to bear certainly highlights this issue and they are to be congratulated for the work they do.”
Cheadle councillor Ron Locker said: “This has been going on for so long. I fully support the people of Kingsley. It would have been better if they had done 40mph all the way to Cellarhead. The amount of accidents and fatalities – it’s always been a bad road.
“We need speed cameras in strategic places as it’s a difficult road to stand on. I fully back the campaign to improve signage.”
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