Community leaders are appealing for drivers not to cross over a junction in the Moorlands when traffic lights are on red. The appeal comes as further concerns have been raised about the temporary traffic lights at Freehay Crossroads which have, reportedly, malfunctioned on a number of occasions.
Community leaders are appealing for drivers not to cross over a junction in the Moorlands when traffic lights are on red.
The appeal comes as further concerns have been raised about the temporary traffic lights at Freehay Crossroads which have, reportedly, malfunctioned on a number of occasions.
Staffordshire County Council (SCC) has confirmed that there are still ongoing discussions as to what the permanent solution is going to be at the crossroads – which have seen a number of road traffic collisions over the years – mainly before the temporary traffic lights were put in place.
The issue was debated during the latest virtual Cheadle Town Council meeting.
Some members raised concern about the county council’s possible intentions of changing the priority of the roads at the crossroads, while others made their concerns known about the temporary lights continuously breaking down.
Councillor Alan Thomas said: “We asked for lights there after a series of accidents. Since the temporary lights have been there, there has been no serious accidents.
“Although there is an issue of the lights not working correctly.
“They (the county council) are proposing to reconfigure the roads. I think there will be problems if they go ahead with those changes.”
Members also said that they would like to know how much it has cost to have the temporary lights in place. Councillor Richard Alcock said: “It’s cost them more in temporary lights. It’s been going on for months.
“People are going across them when they are on red. They keep on breaking down. Someone was there this morningmending them.”
Councillor Ron Locker said: “The county council is becoming a joke. Those crossroads carry more traffic than any other places in our area. Something needs doing before someone gets killed.”
Councillor Ian Plant, who is also Cheadle Town Mayor, said: “This was on the agenda probably three years ago.
“Some of us met with (county councillor) Mark Deaville and others from the county council. We put our views forward at that meeting.
“A proposal was then brought to council and we were asked for our comments and we put in documents but were pushed to a side.
“I think we should write to the county council and ask them what is going to be done, when and at what cost.”
The town councillors agreed to write to SCC to ask for an update.
Meanwhile, Checkley Parish councillor Sandra Peck has been in touch with the Times & Echo about her concerns about the Freehay Crossroads.
She said: “I have seen the lights been broken at least three times.
“I came through this morning and narrowly escaped an accident.
“We seem to get no further in bringing the temporary lights to something permanent.
“I am concerned that we are not going to resolve this before there is a very serious accident.
“We need to ensure that the temporary traffic lights are robust and sufficient and not keep on going wrong.
“We have sat there and seen people run the red lights. I know that the county council or police can’t help that but I don’t want to be sitting and moaning about it – it needs to be sorted.
“I want to support the people who use that crossing before there is a serious accident.”
Cllr Peck added: “I think to change the priority of the crossroads would be a cheap alternative.
“I would like to see either a roundabout or permanent traffic lights.
“I can guess that I will be told it’s too expensive, but life is worth more than that. It should not be money led, but needs led.”
The Times & Echo contacted both the Staffordshire County Council Highways department and ward county councillor Mark Deaville regarding what is happening at Freehay Crossroads.
David Williams, Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways at Staffordshire County Council said: “Keeping our roads safe is a top priority and we continue to have some of the safest roads in the country.
“We listen to residents concerns about road safety in their area and we are working to install permanent safety measures at the crossroads.
“This could see a change to the traffic priority, meaning that traffic travelling on School Lane and Counslow Road would have priority and traffic on Hollington Road and Rakeway Road would give way.
“The temporary traffic lights in place have reduced the accidents and will stay until a permanent solution is in place.”
Cllr Williams added: “The lights and signs are checked and maintained weekly and there are contact details on display for the public to report issues. We know of at least one incidence of vandalism of the equipment, which is reckless and can be extremely dangerous to the travelling public.
“We have already made a number of changes at the junction including cutting back hedges to improve visibility but I would ask that people drive responsibly when using the junction.”
Fellow county councillor Mark Deaville said: “I’ve been listening carefully to local residents concerns about safety at the crossroads for a number of years now and continue to work with our highways team and the Police to find a way of making the area safer.
“I use the road on a regular basis and have seen first-hand how the temporary lights have helped slow down the traffic and reduce the number of accidents.
“It has always been my fear that we would see a major collision here with cross-over traffic and the overwhelming priority is the protection and safety of road users.”
Cllr Deaville added: “I am grateful to the majority of drivers for their patience and cooperation in making the junction much safer.
“However I am also well aware of a number of motorists and also HGV drivers who have crossed the junction on red.
“Not only is this foolish and irresponsible, it is extremely dangerous and I assure that anyone caught in this dangerous manoeuvre will face inevitable prosecution.”
WHAT do you think is the best permanent solution for Freehay Crossroads? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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