Chirk councillor demands action on road

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

A COMMUNITY leader has pledged to continue fighting for measures to tame a danger road which has been the scene of countless accidents.

One of the worst collisions on the A5 Chirk bypass, between the Halton and Gledrid roundabouts, claimed the lives of two people last year.

At the time, Chirk North councillor Ian Roberts, who is also Wrexham’s deputy mayor, demanded urgent action to cut down on the number of accidents.

But more than a year on from the tragedy, with no plans so far announced by highways chiefs, he has renewed his calls for something to be done.

The head-on accident last March resulted in the deaths of 45-year-old factory worker Stuart Davies of Mold, who was at the wheel of a Mercedes estate car, and William Thomas Hefin Jones, 43, of Cardigan, who was driving a cattle lorry.

The lorry was left on its side on the edge of the bridge, with four cattle inside falling to their deaths in the valley below.

Witnesses at the inquest, which recorded verdicts of accidental death on both men, said Mr Davies’ Mercedes had overtaken several vehicles before colliding with the cattle lorry travelling in the opposite direction.

Cllr Roberts believes a key to making the road safe is removing what he calls “the middle lane” where the accident occurred and where traffic travelling in both directions overtake, often at high speed.

He said: “This suicide lane encourage people to take risks and overtake and can be very dangerous. I would also like to see average speed cameras of 50-60mph, which would help a lot.

“Over the years many calls have been made for something to make it safer but nothing has been done.

“I think the highways authorities have given up on it because of the cost of making changes – but I hope that is not the case.

“I mention this whenever I get the chance but I get the message back that the cost is just too great.

“But I will continue to fight for something to be done.

“I just hope it doesn’t take someone else to lose their life before action is taken.”

Chirk resident Sally Poppitt helped launch a campaign on the social networking website Facebook calling for the re-design of the A5, which attracted almost 700 members.

Mrs Poppitt said she felt she was “banging her head against a wall” in trying to get the law changed but welcomed the ongoing fight to change the road.

She said: “It remains a cause for concern. The nature of the road makes it dangerous and I try to avoid using it as much as possible.

“If there could be a change in the lines of the road, or some other restriction that helps to increase safety, that would be a help.”

A spokesman for the Welsh Assembly Government said: “There are no current plans to introduce average speed cameras or a dual carriageway to this stretch of the road.”

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