Neston Town Council backs family's road safety campaign

Reporter:

David Triggs

Neston Town Council has thrown its support behind a mother's campaign to make a busy road junction safer.

Pauline Fielding lost her son Andrew when he was killed in a crash on the A540 Chester High Road in 1994.

Mrs Fielding has campaigned ever since for improvements at the junction of Raby Park Road, where Andrew, 18, of Heswall, lost his life. The teenager was forced to swerve his Vauxhall Astra to avoid a Volvo which cut across his path. As he swerved, his vehicle hit a car travelling behind. He died instantly, and the driver of the other car involved has never been traced.

Now Neston Town Council has added its weight to the campaign by resolving to ask Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) to undertake major improvements to install linked lights at the junction of Raby Park Road and the A540. It also resolved that the independent councillor for Parkgate, Martin Barker, would take a question to the CWaC full council meeting in Winsford next Thursday (December 14).

Mrs Fielding intends to present a petition about the A540 – which has about 2,000 signatures – at the meeting, while she also hopes to be allowed to address the full council for five minutes to talk about the need for improvements.

Mrs Fielding, who started her campaign with husband David 23 years ago, said: “I am extremely grateful for the support of so many people over the years, including that of members of the public, Justin Madders MP, Neston Town Council and the trustees of Neston High School, which is sited a short distance from the junction.

“Incredibly, 23 years after Andrew died, the junction remains unimproved – and has become increasingly dangerous. I call on Cheshire West and Chester Council to ensure that adequate improvements are made to the junction such as linked traffic lights that will help to prevent further death and injury.”

CWaC's Highways team has previously recommended a “small-scale kerb realignment” to be carried out at the junction, along with a speed limit review on the A540 between Raby Park Road and Lees Lane. But installing traffic lights in isolation “is not a valid option”, the council has said.

However, campaigners are refusing to back down.

Cllr Barker said: “I welcome the proposal by CWaC for limited improvements to the Raby Park Road junction. But if we are to make this important road safer and better for its users, a more comprehensive scheme is needed that coordinates the traffic lights at all the junctions to Neston and Parkgate from the A540. This has become increasingly important because of the redeveloped High School, the enlarged distribution warehouse, and the additional housing planned at Hinderton Hall.

“We need to look ahead at the future pressures on this road as well as reflecting on the experiences of the past, such as those of the Fielding family, which demand an effective response.”

Councillor Ceri Lloyd said: “Pauline Fielding’s heroic work to ensure that no more families have to experience the grief that she and her family have endured since 1994 is an example to us all. Neston Town Council has signalled its support for her campaign, and I urge residents of the borough to sign the petition before it is presented to CWaC on December 14.

“The A540 is a vital link to the town and it is essential that it is made as safe as possible for all road users as a matter of urgency.”

The petition can be signed at: www.justinmadders.com/chester_high_road_junction_with_raby_park_road.

Email:

david.triggs@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Chester Leader

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