Sunday, 23 September 2018

Two hurt after another collision at blackspot

TWO people were injured in a car crash at a junction where a man died only three months ago.

TWO people were injured in a car crash at a junction where a man died only three months ago.

Two cars collided at the junction of Albert Road and Highmoor Road in Caversham just before 4pm on Tuesday.

One driver had to be cut free from their car by firefighters and two people were taken by ambulance to the Royal Berkshire Hospital with minor injuries. Police closed the road for more than an hour.

The crash happened less than a month after another accident at the same spot while in May an elderly man died when two cars collided, prompting a new campaign by residents to improve safety at the accident blackspot.

Reading East MP, who lives nearby, said he had complained to Reading Borough Council several times since May to demand action.

In a letter to this week’s Henley Standard, he said: “What’s clear is that the council is not taking seriously the significant safety concerns with the junction.

“I’m aware that the council is not supportive of a raised speed platform — the preferred long-term solution of residents surveyed — but it did agree to an experimental junction realignment.

“This was on July 12 and yet, nearly a month later, no substantive action has been taken to improve safety for local residents. This lack of effort cannot be justified and it’s abundantly clear that the council is failing completely in its duty to do all it can to ensure the safety of local people.”

Caversham and District Residents’ Association first launched a campaign to improve safety at the junction in October 2011.

In December 2014 there were several collisions and near-misses, including one in which two cars collided and almost hit three children.

A week before the fatality in May, an elderly couple and a family were involved in a head-on collision at the junction.

The council has previously suggested installing a bus gate at the junction but after public consultation decided to look for an alternative solution, such as traffic-calming measures in Albert Road.

Helen Lambert, who chairs the residents’ association, said the council had agreed to put down new road markings.

She said: “They were to be put down this month and then a further meeting to discuss what other measures might be possible would take place. We hope the markings will proceed urgently.”

A council spokesman said officers had met residents’ groups while speed surveys and video analysis of the junction had been completed.

He added: “A minor lining change at the junction will be completed over the coming weeks. The council is scheduled to meet again with the two community groups later this month before all information is reported back to committee in the autumn for the next steps to be agreed.”

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