Concerns over the future safety of the main A6 road at Garstang have been voiced by the local Town Council
Serious concerns about the safety of pedestrians and cyclists were discussed at its April meeting after local Wyre councillor Coun Lady Dulcie Atkins reported two potential near miss incidents.
These had occurred when members of Wyre Borough Council's planning committee and department, including Lady Dulcie, made a site visit to the A6.
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That visit related to an application to build 70 new houses at a site south of Prospect Farm West, which is up for consideration by Wyre Council next week.
The potential accident spot she highlighted was by a traffic island.
Coun Lady Atkins reported how a combination of circumstances and heavy traffic meant the delegation witnessed at first hand the issues on the busy route.
She described how a large heavy goods vehicle and several members of the Garstang Cycling Club were travelling along the road when the hgv driver had to change course suddenly on seeing the traffic island /bollards.
Noone was hurt but members of the Cycling Club were shaken by the experience and have raised the road safety issue with the Town Council.
Just short time later Coun Atkins said they were again at the crossing point when an oncoming wide vehicle meant she had to step out of the way on to the other side of the highway to avoid any dangers. She said :"If there was a mum with a pram possibly holding on to a child it's just not suitable."
The Town Council had already objected to plans for the development of the 70 homes due to " the detrimental impact on highway safety". It had particularly highlighted concerns about the safety of pedestrians keen to cross the busy A6 to walk down Kepple Lane into Garstang, the volume of traffic and the knock on effect of the development on flooding.
Mayor Coun Liz Webster urged the council to highlight its concerns again and add its support to the cycling club's comments . She said: "We were concerned about pedestrian safety, road safety and the volume of traffic. Now we've had this incident and the chairman of the cycling club has written to the Town Council... It's an extremely serious situation and I do think these traffic islands are very dangerous." As soon as I was installed I thought this is an accident waiting to happen...We need to write to Wyre Council to express our concerns."
Coun Richard Dyer said: "Traffic islands are quite safe if people drive like they are supposed to. "
But he endorsed the fears over safety saying: "Coming out of Kepple Lane, especially when a vaccination (clinic )is on, combined with building work - someone is going to get seriously hurt. All in all that whole Garstang stretch of the A6 is a nightmare at the moment. "
Coun Alec Allan said:"I think the whole road junction there is going to become quite ludicrous."
He added if a new estate was built people would inevitably be trying to cross the road with associated dangers:"I think they need to think about the whole scheme again. It might be better off with a road opposite Kepple Lane and not a crooked junction."
Coun Roger Brooks advised some potential future solutions to the problems on the A6 were outlined in Wyre's Local Plan and its section on "The A6 highway mitigation strategy" which should be consulted as guidance on what to suggest.
Coun Jonny Leech agreed with Coun Brooks and noted that the whole section,of the A6 , especially the Nateby crossing could be "very dangerous at times"
Summing up he said the council should write to Wyre noting concern not just around the latest application for development "but all developments in this area" and their cumulative effect on road safety.
The Town Council agreed to contact the cycling club, write to Wyre Council in support of the club's concerns, and contact Wyre Council and Lancashire County Council after reviewing the Local Plan's mitigation strategies, to once again highlight the safety issues.
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