New safety scheme didn't work

PUBLISHED: 18:12 25 October 2006 | UPDATED: 10:05 24 May 2010

A £35,000 road safety scheme in Portishead to reduce accidents and speed on one of the town's busiest roads has proved ineffective. North Somerset Council highways chiefs are now being forced back to the drawing board to look again at what measures can be

A £35,000 road safety scheme in Portishead to reduce accidents and speed on one of the town's busiest roads has proved ineffective.North Somerset Council highways chiefs are now being forced back to the drawing board to look again at what measures can be installed to improve road safety at Avon Way.Thousands of pounds were poured into a project last year to resurface Avon Way and install a new pedestrian crossing by West Hill shops.New hatched areas were also painted on the road and signs installed in a bid to slow down traffic.But a review of the scheme by highways officers has revealed the project has done little to improve the situation, with 80 per cent of motorists using the road, which has a 30mph limit, driving at 38mph or faster.The number of accidents has also not reduced, with three serious ones occurring since the work was completed.A spokesman for North Somerset Council said: "In the previous five years there were 12 recorded injury accidents, resulting in 13 casualties, three serious and 10 slight."In the 18 months since completion, there have been three injury accidents, resulting in five casualties."It is really too early to judge the effectiveness of the scheme, but these figures do tend to suggest that it has not achieved the accident reduction hoped for."We are continuing to monitor this."Further down the road, at the Slade Road/Combe Road junction there has been a significant rise in accidents with three in 2005 and one so far in 2006 compared to one accident in the last five years.The spokesman added: "We are investigating the causes and what can be done to address this problem and the issue of speed on the downhill approach to this junction."Portishead councillor Jon Gething said he was disappointed the improvements had not made a difference.Councillor Gething said: "I was sceptical at the time whether it would work and whether it would actually reduce the speed of traffic on this very busy road."Fortunately there have been no fatalities, but I understand that people have ended up in hospital as a result of the accidents.

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