Police and crime commissioner calls for more government cash for road safety improvements
19th June 2018
By Daniel Clark
Devon and Cornwall’s police and crime commissioner has urged the government to invest more in the regions roads.
There were 68 fatalities on Devon and Cornwall’s roads and 822 serious accidents in 2017, the latest year for which verified data is available.
New plans to spend millions of pounds on road safety improvements in the South West have been welcomed by Devon and Cornwall’s police and crime commissioner Alison Hernandez, as well as by Devon County Council.
In Devon £1.9m will be spent on the project to improve the A3121 and £2.2m will be spent on the A3123 at Mullacott Cross. In Cornwall £1.1m will be spent on the A3058 at Quintrell Downs and £1.9m will improve the A3071 St Just junction with the A30.
The schemes are expected to save 39 deaths/serious injury accidents on the A3121 and 16 on the A3123.
But Ms Hernandez has called for further government investment to reduce the number of serious and fatal accidents that have brought tragedy to the region’s roads in recent years.
She said: “We simply have to do more to reduce the number of lives affected by road death and industry. I am delighted that at last some progress is being made, and the government is taking this issue seriously, but there’s still much more to be done.
“I will continue to do whatever I can to support increased road safety in Devon and Cornwall by partnering with local authorities and continuing to raise our concerns at a national level.
“The setting up of a national road safety task force, with Police and Crime Commissioners taking the lead for road safety strategy, would help enormously in turning strategy into real improvements that would reduce the number of needless and tragic accidents which have blighted our roads.”
Speaking at the police and crime panel meeting on Friday, she said: “The amount of people killed or seriously injured on our roads down here is not good enough.”
She added that a new policing strategy for road safety is under development and is due for completion in July 2018 and that the current vision being considered is ‘For Devon and Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to have the safest road systems in the U.K. free from death and serious injury where people and communities have confidence in their safety.’
In Cornwall £1.1m will be spent on the A3058 at Quintrell Downs and £1.9m will improve the A3071 St Just junction with the A30.
Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for transport and member for Newquay Central said: “Improving the safety of major roads in Cornwall, for the benefit of road users, is a priority issue for this council through our wider highway investment programme.
“The money will be used for new barriers, footways, junctions and road surfaces to improve road safety and prevent accidents.”
“These latest road safety grants secured by the council will enable improvements to be delivered in 2020/21.
“However, it is also important that the council seeks external investment, where possible, to help fund projects like these – and I welcome the announcement of this latest support from the Department for Transport.
“The council will continue to bid for and hopefully secure additional external funding for highways projects in the future.”
In Devon £1.9m will be spent on the project to improve the A3121 and £2.2m will be spent on the A3123 at Mullacott Cross, and Devon County Council has welcomed long awaited news of more than £4 million of funding for road safety improvements on two A-roads in Devon.
This article has been supplied to Cornwall Reports by the BBC Local Democracy Service