Wednesday, 17 April 2013

A4 Accident Raises Road Safety Questions

A serious accident occurred on Thursday 11th April when a lorry jack-knived and ran out of control into the Rising Sun pub on the A4 between Woolhampton and Aldermaston. The road was closed for most of the afternoon and the driver was airlifted to hospital.

Meridian News posted a full selection of eye-witness accounts and BBC Berkshire also covered the story with this report.

The Rising Sun's landlord, Wayne Sangwell, has led renewed calls to improve safety, saying, "I'm lucky to be alive... it was an accident waiting to happen,".

A 30mph zone is in place through Woolhampton village, but speeding remains an issue, especially once drivers get beyond the speed cameras.

In 2006 the Woolhampton Parish Plan identified speeding along this section of the road as a longstanding issue at the same time as traffic flows showed marked increases. The lay-by was created in the 1930s after work was done to reduce the sharp corner and gradient, but the road has remained dangerous even after an speed restriction was imposed in1980 - as the DfT's interactive accident map highlights.

The cameras and pelican crossing were put in several years ago in response to the A4 Study conducted by West Berkshire Council in 2007, but as you can see on p14 of the draft document these measures represent the minimum scale of proposals identified through in consultations around the A4 study.

According to figures from the Department for Transport the traffic profile for West Berkshire shows an increase of 1/3 for light good vehicles since 2000. Meanwhile the capital spend by WBC on road safety in the years 2006-11 is loaded to the 2009-10 budget - ten-times more was allocated for road safety in the pre-election year than the annual average for the other years in the cycle.

Should more be done?

And, why wasn't more done when funding was available?

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Midgham Station Improvements?

In January Network Rail completed their work to upgrade the access facilities at Midgham Station, adding a ramp to the shelter on the Newbury side of the tracks. Unfortunately the dilapidated wooden structure of the shelter collapsed only a couple of weeks later.

It has been boarded up since the beginning of February.

No shelter from the elements

This is what it looked like when the Aldermaston Ward Focus Team stopped by last weekend.

Local commuters are dismayed and frustrated - not just at the discomfort and the delays in sorting out this problem, but also the unnecessary waste occurring while rail fares continue to rise faster than inflation.

Your local team of LibDems are campaigning to find a solution.

Monday, 1 April 2013


Local LibDems have identified a selection of priority campaign areas.

The six areas to fix include:
  1. Finance issues (Council Tax, spending and waste etc) and economic development;
  2. Housing;
  3. Transport;
  4. Education;
  5. Health & Social Care (ie needs for the vulnerable); and
  6. Communications and general services.

As we head towards the next round of municipal elections we will seek to raise issues and find solutions to represent the interests of residents.

So if you feel that something can or needs to be done, please get in contact with us.