Parliamentary committee should be a wake-up call for Highways chiefs(July 23, 2012)
The first annual increase in road fatalities since 2003 has this week prompted a call for much stronger leadership on road safety by the transport committee of the Houses of Parliament.
It comes at the time when a community in and around Warminster is reeling at the loss of three local lives so far on the A36 this year within yeards of each other.
"I am sad that our local MP did his best to raise this issue of the remaining A36 black-spots locally between Heytesbury and Codford but to no avail so far," says Paul Macdonald after attending the MP surgery in Trowbridge last October.
"This should be a wake up call to government ministers as this has been a bad dream that has become a nightmare locally."
"It has been a perennial issue for decades."
The parliamentary Transport Committee is charged by the House of Commons with scrutiny of the Department for Transport. Its formal remit is to examine the expenditure and administration of its activities.
"if the government is not willing to set targets it should show more leadership," said Louise Ellman, chairman of the Transport Committee.
"The evidence we we gathered suggests in improving road safety is robust political leadership."
The A36 road improvement scheme for that would link the Heytesbury by-pass to the Codford by-pass was recommended six years ago but then became blighted by indecision over who should be responsible for it.
"I welcome the call for robustness to be shown by politicians," says A36 campaigner Paul Macdonald.
"The MP is coming up against a brick wall from the Highways Agency quoting numbers of deaths needed before anything can be done which quite frankly is now outrageous.
"The three lives lost are just a statistic to be added to next year's report but should be a spur to action now."
"The Minister now needs to be robust and take charge of this before more lives are lost not after."
*The MPs report examined the Government's Strategic Framework for Road Safety.