Safety of A16 junction in Crowland now in Government's hands

The safety of a 'scary' junction off the A16 in Crowland is now the Government's business after an inquest into a woman's death there.

Wednesday, 6th April 2016, 8:46 am
Updated Sunday, 10th April 2016, 7:32 pm
The scene of a fatal three-car collision at the "staggered junction" of the A16 junction with the B1166 Hulls Drove in Crowland where an 81-year-old woman died and three other people were injured, one seriously, in May 2015. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Sheila Slater (81), of Holbeach Drove, suffered fatal head and chest injuries when the Ford Mondeo she was in, driven by her husband Roy Slater, was in collision with two other cars on May 20, 2015.

An inquest into Mrs Taylor’s death at Stamford Town Hall on Wednesday saw Professor Robert Forrest, in his final hearing as senior coroner for south Lincolnshire, record a verdict of death by road traffic collision.

But because of the dangers posed by the “staggered junction” where the A16 meets the B1166 James Road and Hulls Drove, where the crash happened, Professor Forrest is writing to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to call for safety work there.

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Former South Lincolnshire senior coroner, Professor Robert Forrest.

Professor Forrest said: “There’s a problem with so-called staggered junctions in Lincolnshire where we have a lot of small roads that are crossed by bypasses.

“People don’t like them and there have been an awful lot of fatalities associated with them, so I decided that I would produce some evidence for the Secretary of State for Transport.

“When something comes out of an inquest that, if uncorrected, will put people at continued risk of death, the coroner has a duty to report the matter to somebody who can do something about it.”

The A16 bypass between Spalding and Peterborough, which was opened in August 2010, was built at a cost of about £95 million and replaced the old A1073 where more than 100 people were killed or seriously injured between 1990 and 2013.

Former South Lincolnshire senior coroner, Professor Robert Forrest.

But an investigation by newspaper last May found that the bypass had seen eight deaths, 14 serious injuries and 37 minor injuries between August 2010 and May 2015.

Professor Forrest said: “Lincolnshire County Council highways department was represented at the inquest where we decided that correspondence with various people (about the A16 in Crowland) hadn’t been very effective in the past.

“The county highways representative said that to replace all the staggered junctions in Lincolnshire with roundabouts would cost about £1.9 million.

“But roads here are dangerous so, with the support of the county council, we can only hope to get some money out of the Government to do the necessary engineering work.”

The safety of the A16 in Crowland has been the number one priority for parish councillors since the mid-1980s and so they have welcomed Professor Forrest’s intervention.

Crowland Parish Council chairman Coun David Ringham said: “Whilst sending our condolences to the family of Sheila Slater, the parish council supports Professor Forrest in raising the design of the junctions with the Department of Transport and I hope he gets a positive response.

“We felt, and still do feel, that roundabouts are a better option in helping to reduce speed as the staggered junctions are confusing for both local people and strangers to the area.”

Meanwhile, Crowland county councillor Nigel Pepper said: “I am pleased to hear that the Senior Coroner is writing to the Transport Secretary. “Being a former member of Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue and having dealt with incidents at this junction, it confirms to myself that a roundabout will undoubtedly make this junction safer.

“I receive more complaints about the A16/B1166 junction from my constituents than any other council matter and it scares us locals every-time we have to cross this junction.”