Get Stafford County Council to make the A518 a Safer Road.

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Back in 2004, Stafford County Council began a study into the causes behind the significant numbers of people being Killed or Seriously Injured on the A518. They called it “The A518 Route Strategy”.

The strategy identified many issues with the A518 between Uttoxeter and Newport. Among these were : Inadequate, dangerous and misleading road markings; lack of street lighting; lack of traffic calming measures; poorly maintained road surfaces often contaminated by mud carried by tractors from muddy farm fields; excessively high speed limit given the nature of the road; dangerous and immovable obstacles (i.e. trees) on the outside of bends; lack of barriers; poor signposting… the list went on.

This mixture of all these flaws, along with a 60mph speed limit and single lane carriageway, resulted in the road being dubbed “one of the most dangerous roads in the country”.

Over the years, local politicians of all persuasions have claimed credit for “pushing hard for improvements” on the A518. Barry Stamp, Bill Cash, Mark Winnington etc have all claimed credit.

So. where are we? Well…. Since the report in 2004, there’s still no lighting along the A518… Still no barriers… Still no traffic calming measures… The road surface is worse than ever, with frequent contamination with mud from tractors exiting muddy farm fields as Staffordshire Council no longer issue enforcement notices… The trees (some of which have now claimed several lives) are still in the run-off space on bends and still have no barriers to protect cars from hitting them… And still no permanent speed cameras have been erected.

Fatalities are still happening on a terrifyingly regular basis and last nights utterly devastating tragedy is the latest in a long list of unnecessary and totally avoidable deaths that this road has claimed.

“Affordability” is the favourite excuse wheeled out by Stafford County Council as a reason for non-action, usually with the finger pointed at Central Government cuts. Well, according to their latest published accounts, Staffordshire County Council are currently sitting on reserves of over £180,000,000 in reserves. That’s well over 6 times more than the *total* amount spent on *all* roads, infrastructure and highways across the *entire* county last year. Yet people are still dying on a regular basis, because Stafford County Council are simply choosing to not make the necessary improvements.

So there can really only be two conclusions here. Either 1: Our elected MPs are utterly ineffective at making urgent safety related changes actually happen…. Or 2: Our County Council would rather hoard the money than spend it on the necessary improvements.

The lady in the attached photo, is Helen Fisher. She is Stafford County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport. You might recognise her name - she’s been in the local media a lot getting excited about the newly introduced £60 fines that are to be issued to any motorist that drives down the road adjacent to Stafford County Council’s shiny new palace - sorry - offices… (which, incidentally, cost the taxpayer over £40,000,000 to build). Yes, it seems Taxi’s are ok to drive down this road, Buses are ok to drive down this road, but apparently the average motorist needs a £60 fine to (quote) “teach them a lesson”.

Well perhaps, just perhaps, if enough people were to contact Helen Fisher (simply search “Helen Fisher Stafford contact” for her mobile number and email), expressing your voice and asking her (as a Conservative Party Member and Staffords Cabinet Member for Highways & Transport) to take action, you never know - something might be done.