Published: June 30, 2011
Burnham residents welcome safety changes at accident blackspots

Residents living along a busy road in Burnham-On-Sea have this week welcomed the County Council's decision to introduce new safety measures in an attempt to reduce the likelihood of serious accidents.

New signs and road markings are to be installed by the council at two separate accident blackspots in Stoddens Road following a long-running campaign by residents.

As part of the changes, a new 20mph warning sign has this week been introduced on the sharp bend next to the BASC ground where a family had a lucky escape in February this year when their car careered off the road.

Resident Peter Little, pictured right, told Burnham-On-Sea.com that the new sign is a "long-overdue step in the right direction".

Further safety improvements also look set to be made further along Stoddens Road at the bend to the west of the junction with Rectory Road.

This road bend has seen two accidents in the past fortnight, where a fence and wall have been damaged, as pictured below.

Local resident Tom Morey told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "The accidents have caused property damage but of much greater concern to us is the potential for injury or death to the many pedestrians who use the two footways here."

"Our records show there have been 13 accidents here in the last 27 years and two in just the last two weeks."

A group of six concerned residents held a meeting earlier this month with Town Councillor Ken Smout, Sgt Ian Kennett from Burnham Police and Chris Betty from the County Council's highways team where the proposals to increase safety were drawn up.

The residents presented full records of all the accidents, including photos, dates and times, and this persuaded the County Council that action is needed.

Somerset County Council has recommended that:

the speedwatch group be reinstated with the help of the police;

that the existing chevron sign be replaced with a grey backing boards to make it more conspicuous against the dark environment and that overhanging vegetation be cut back;

that the existing bend warning sign be repositioned further eastwards to give advance warning of the bends;

that the word SLOW be painted on the carriageway;

that the existing centre lines be re-furbished and extended;

that an SID speed warning camera device be occasionally positioned at the site.

The recommendations are subject to final approval from Town Council at its July meeting next week.

Cllr Smout told Burnham-On-Sea.com this week: "The residents have done really well putting together an album of evidence, showing the damage caused by crashes here over the years. I'm really hopeful that we will see some increased safety here."

Mr Morey added: "We are very grateful for the help of our local councillor and are pleased and relieved that Somerset County Council is at last attempting to improve safety."

 


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