VILLAGERS demanding road improvements at a notorious accident blackspot are hoping to enlist the support of MP Bill Cash.
Freehay crossroads has been the scene of a string of accidents and near misses in recent years despite several small-scale attempts to warn drivers of the danger.
Now, a new residents group is campaigning for action – and they’re keen to win the backing of Mr Cash.
Around 20 villagers, three of whom had been directly involved in accidents at the junction, attended a meeting with parish and town councillors on Saturday.
They want major changes at the crossroads which could include the erection of traffic lights or reversing the priority of the junction and are compiling a fact file to present to the MP.
It will include photographic evidence and statistics of each recorded collision as well as comments from community leaders, police and the petition, which already features more than 150 signatures.
They have also contacted Ordnance Survey in a bid to address issues with satellite navigation systems known to be directing traffic heading to Alton Towers via Freehay.
Emma Leese, who lives in Freehay, is helping to lead the residents group.
She said: “The crossroads has been a nightmare for years and we want to see something done about it.
“We want to see improvements that make a real difference, rather than the usual markings painted on the road or changes to signage – something drastic needs to happen.
“We’ve started a petition and it has got 150 signatures in a week. We’ll give it a month and see how many people support us.
“We’re hoping to spread the word, because enough is enough.
“The number of cars that go over the crossroads each day, oblivious to the danger that they’re causing to themselves and other road users, is just horrendous.
“People need to understand that it’s not just Alton Towers and JCB traffic – it’s a constant flow of cars, families and people visiting the area as well as people who live around here.
“You see people following sat-navs, completely ignoring the warning signs and flying straight over the crossroads, there are so many near misses.
“Signs and warnings don’t do a thing, we need to see a change.”
The most recent collision at the junction saw an elderly driver taken to hospital.
Staffordshire County Councillor Mark Deaville revealed last month that a scheme to improve safety at the junction would begin in the summer.
He said: “Freehay crossroads is an issue I’ve been working hard on in conjunction with police for a number of years now and we have already made a number of improvements in the area.
“These include refreshing the white lines and road markings and cutting back hedges to improve driver visibility at the junction.
“People will also be aware there are ample signs at the location and I am hugely concerned that many drivers still cross over the stop signs.
“Highways teams will be carrying out detailed design work on a scheme that will improve safety at the junction.
“That will take place in the summer and we would hope to be able to do the work in the same financial year.”
Anyone keen to sign the petition can do so at the Times and Echo office at 18 Tape Street, Cheadle, the Raddle Inn, Hollington, The Queens at Freehay, Cheadle Post Office, Pure Indulgence at Chapel Street and The Tardis Surgery at Queen Street.
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