A TOWN council is to write to Staffordshire County Council about the possibility of inserting extra safety measures onto temporary traffic lights at a crossroads in the area. Temporary traffic lights are currently in place at Freehay crossroads due to safety concerns because of frequent vehicle collisions at the junction. Cheadle Town Council are set to contact the county council to reaffirm their position that they are in support of the temporary traffic lights currently in place and also to suggest putting cameras on top of these amid claims from a councillor that motorists are driving through red lights.
At a town council meeting on Monday (November 4), councillor Richard Alcock said: “The traffic lights are all right but everyday I see someone come through on red.
“They’ve put paint on the road but I don’t know if that’s helped.
“It wants a proper job made of it. We want the traffic lights there but there are people that ignore them and go through the red lights, taking no notice.
“Someone obeys it and then others will go and overtake them.
“I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Some are saying that the junction needs staggering – something needs to be done to make the traffic slow down.”
Councillor Ray Wood stated: “I’m hearing a lot of grumbling but no alternatives.
“We strongly suggested keeping traffic lights there before – I’d hate to think we’d suggest taking the lights away.”
Councillor Ron Locker then mooted: “With all the new technology we have got today, a lot of traffic lights have cameras on them – why have they not got them?
“Perhaps we should write to the county council to ask them to provide traffic lights with cameras.”
Councillor Alan Thomas said: “I was under the impression that it was suggested that they would get rid of the lights, switch the junction and change priority.
“As people know, when you change the priority of the road, it can be very dangerous.
“If we put proper traffic lights there, it would eliminate or seriously reduce the amount of accidents on there.
“The county council need to come here and explain their logic and hear what we have to say.
“I speak to lots of people in the area about this and they have a clear understanding of what is needed.”
Cllr Wood went on to highlight that Cheadle Town Council wrote to the county council in May regarding the crossroads, but has received no response.
Councillor Gregory Powell stated: “They (the lights) have been effective as far as I’m aware.
“We should be writing back saying that lights are the solution.”
The town council all voted in favour of writing to Staffordshire County Council to reaffirm their position on the temporary traffic lights currently in place, including enquiries about the possibilities of installing cameras on top of them.
An anonymous reader wrote in to the Times and Echo on the topic of how much the temporary traffic lights have cost Staffordshire County Council during the time they have been at Freehay crossroads.
They said: “Under Freedom of Information I asked SCC (Staffordshire County Council) how much the Freehay traffic lights have cost since they were put there.
“They had 20 working days to reply. At the eleventh hour they said they couldn’t respond in the set time scales because they were considering whether it would compromise them on financial disclosure of contractual matters and would respond again at a later date.
The reader added: “If they analysed the circumstances of each accident they might first understand the cause and then be able to formulate a solution.
“If you stand up there, the visibility of drivers from Counslow and Cheadle is quite good but from Mobberley looking towards Hollington the hedges are overgrown and there is an old phone box obscuring the view. In the phone box is a defibrillator.
“What are the chances of needing a defibrillator just there?
“It isn’t rocket science, what are SCC highways messing about at?
“Make it a mini roundabout with severe rumble strips (like those approaching the old Bird in Hand pub at Hilderstone) on all four approaches.
“Cut back hedges, put up new signs, shift the phone box, job done.”
In response to concerns raised, Darryl Eyers, Director for Economy at Staffordshire County Council, told the Times and Echo: “Keeping our roads safe remains one of our top priorities and Staffordshire roads continue to be amongst the safest in the country.
“Improving road safety at the (Freehay Crossroads) junction has been a priority for the county council for a number of years now and there are plans in place to do this.
“Changes to the speed limit are already in hand and changes to the road layout, including removing some hedges, new road markings and signs are also being considered.”
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