8:00am Sunday 13th October 2013
THE leader of Worcestershire County Council has called on the Department for Transport to take urgent action to improve a stretch of road around Evesham labelled one of the most dangerous in the country.
Coun Adrian Hardman has said work needs to be done as soon as possible to improve safety on the A46, where three people have died in as many years.
The road – which is managed by the Highways Agency rather than the county council – leads from the M5 at Ashchurch, around Beckford and Evesham to the M40 near Warwick.
But despite his calls, the department has said no funding is available to carry out any work until at least 2015.
“It seems that every six months someone is getting killed there and something needs to be done,” said Coun Hardman.
“The Highways Agency can do things in the short term to make the road safer at not a lot of cost.
“I do understand they cannot do a vast project but they can do things such as put in a third lane in some areas at very little cost.
He said he had been in touch with the leaders of other authorities in the area and hoped local enterprise partnerships and the region’s MPs would throw their support behind his campaign.
“It needs a bit of funding thrown at it because it does have an important financial effect on Evesham, Alcester and the other towns,” he said.
“We need a clear strategy looking onto 2020.”
He said he had received a flood of support from residents since first speaking out about the issue earlier this year.
“I’ve had up to 100 letters about this from people saying things need to be done,” he said.
A spokesman from the Department for Transport said the government was spending £3.2 billion on improvements to Highways Agency roads across the country, but had already allocated all its funding up to 2015.
“However, the Highways Agency is continuing to look at the safety issues with the Evesham bypass, with the study due to be completed by March 2014,” she said.
The bypass around Evesham is currently under heavy use due to the 10-week closure of Abbey Bridge.
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