Published: February 11, 2012
Angry residents say safety work has made bend 'more dangerous'

A group of angry residents in Burnham-On-Sea has this week called on the County Council to introduce further safety improvements at an accident blackspot amid claims that recent work to increase safety has actually made the location more dangerous.

Stoddens Road re-opened on Friday (February 10th) after a two-week closure for the county council to introduce 'safety enhancements' to the sharp bend near the entrance to Burnham's BASC sports ground.

Although the road surface and bank next to a rhyne running alongside the bend have been improved, residents say they are concerned that a vital crash barrier needed to prevent further accidents there is still missing, with no timescale for when this will be introduced.

Long-time campaigner Peter Little, pictured above, told "The repairs made over the past fortnight have actually made the bend more dangerous than before."

"We had been promised an extension to the crash barrier. For any car unable to negotiate the corner from the Tesco direction, the vehicle will end up in the water-filled ditch, which now is full of deeper water than before and without any preventative shrubs and trees on the kerb edge."

"Urgent action is still needed here more than ever before."

Another resident, Jonathan Chambers, told "It surprises me is that a safety barrier/fence has not been fitted to the top of the gabions on the side of the corner towards Stoddens Farm to match the fence on the other side."

"It is odd that on this side of the corner is a 6-8 foot drop into a water-filled rhyne and no fence and on the other side is a fence without a rhyne."

"Stoddens Road is a busy road used to access Berrow and Brean from the motorway and is used by motorists, cyclists, horses, dog walkers and those going to the BASC ground."

Town councillor Ken Smout said on Saturday morning (February 11th) he fully understands residents concerns. He added: "I am taking this matter up with the county council - the changes don't address the safety concerns we have raised and I would agree with the residents that a crash barrier is needed."

Residents in Stoddens Road have been calling for improved safety measures at the site, as reported last year following an accident in which a car careered off the road in February, pictured, which was one of several accidents. Crashes also occurred in the area in August 2010 and December 2010.

Pictured: Peter Little at the completed road bend and, from top, how the bend now looks, the gabions being introduced during the roadworks and, above, an accident at the spot in February

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