This notoriously dangerous road gets much-needed safety measures
One year after a road near Ledbury was labelled “an absolute death trap”, traffic calming measures to be installed.
But change is on the horizon, after Ledbury Town Council’s traffic management committee meeting, giving the thumbs up to finance a Speed Indicator Device (SID) for the A417 through Parkway, and other calming measures.
One idea is to install white gates on the verges at Parkway, to let motorists know there are entering a residential area.
A recent speed survey revealed that 85% of traffic passing through Parkway was breaking the 40mph speed limit by an average of more than 8mph; and at one point through the village there was found to be “no compliance at all” with the speed limit.
Former town councillor, Jane Hopkins, who lives at Parkway raised her concerns again this week, telling the Reporter “absolutely nothing has happened since the election; I am left with the feeling that nothing is being done”.
She said: “In the meanwhile, near misses happen every day and every day traffic seems to increase. It is only set to get worse as logic tells you that more houses mean more traffic, and Ledbury is set to expand.
“I used to be able to time my trips so I could have a safe time to reverse back on my drive, there is now no time that’s quiet enough. So I have to run the gauntlet of wondering if the cars coming up behind me will see my reversing lights, my brake lights and my indicator and realise they have to stop to get around me safely. Most times at least one will stop only two to three inches from my bumper. I nearly lost my wing mirror and my wing this week when a car tried to fit between me and an oncoming vehicle. The postman is now saying he may not be able to deliver any more as he doesn’t feel safe and I can’t say I blame him.”
There have been serious accidents at Parkway, which is the link road to the M50.
In August 2018, a Mazda MX-5 Sport Convertible was travelling east from Ledbury towards the M50 when it was in collision with a 60-year-old pedestrian on the carriageway.
The Mazda sustained a damaged windscreen. The pedestrian was taken to hospital in Birmingham, with serious injuries.
At the time, Parkway resident Clare Blewitt called the stretch of road “an absolute death trap” and revealed how she herself had narrowly escaped serious injury herself, in November 2016, when another vehicle was involved in a collision with the rear of her car, while she was turning into her own drive. Her car was a write-off.
Ledbury’s mayor, Cllr Phillip Howells, said Parkway residents were right to have concerns, and he added: “In the last week we have had our first traffic management committee meeting of the year, and there is a proposal for a SID at Parkway. It’s definitely on the agenda; but it’s all taken a bit longer, with a new administration and new councillors.”
But the committee has approved funding three new SID devices for Ledbury, with one for Parkway, one for the Hereford Road and one for the Ross Road – all gateway entrances to Ledbury. The white gates idea for Parkway is also being considered.
The town council will ask Herefordshire Council, the highways authority, to fund another traffic survey for Parkway, which is necessary before the SID can be installed. This survey will cost the town council £490; a post for the SID device will cost the town council another £450, and the cost of a SID at Parkway will cost the town council £250 a month to run.
A request for the new survey is about to be made to Herefordshire Council.
Herefordshire Council was asked for a comment about Parkway, but this had not been received at the time of going to press.