New action pledge over A46 Hartley Bends
New action is likely to be taken to slow down traffic on a busy road where there has been a string of accidents in recent years.
A meeting between Bath and North East Somerset Council and the Highways Agency has led to a pledge from the Government body to seek funding for new warning signs and road markings at Hartley Bends on the A46.
The agency has mentioned signs at the spot before, but has in the past suggested they might simply warn of queuing traffic.
Now it looks likely that the flashing, vehicle-activated signs would carry a message such as slow or slow down.
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B&NES cabinet member for transport Councillor Roger Symonds (Lib Dem, Combe Down) and local councillor Martin Veal (Con, Bathavon North) met agency officials to highlight the accidents over the last five years, two of which had been fatal.
The agency confirmed it was bidding for funds to invest in measures to improve safety in the 2013/14 financial year.
The two vehicle-activated signs would warn drivers of the bends from both directions and there are also likely to be new road markings.
The detail of what exactly the signs and markings would say has yet to be determined.
B&NES said the agency suggested the work would be high on its list of priorities.
Mr Symonds said: “It is very positive that the Highways Agency have conducted this assessment and intend to bid for funding to tackle this urgent problem. There is clearly a pattern of accidents at Hartley Bends and Bath and North East Somerset Council hopes that their proposed action is successful.”
Mr Veal said he wanted to see action in the mean time as well.
“Whilst I welcome the Highways Agency’s intention to improve safety in the long term, action is also needed immediately. We have therefore suggested temporary vehicle activated signs on the approaches to this area to alert drivers to the safety issue.”
Annabelle Dexter, the agency’s South West asset development team leader, said: “Safety is a priority and we welcomed this opportunity to listen to the council’s concerns and discuss proposals to introduce new safety measures on this section of the A46.
“We expect to be able to make an announcement about funding for this by February and in the mean time we are investigating if there are any short term safety measures we can introduce before the work is undertaken.”