Hitchin accident blackspot junction is ‘effective’ despite another crash

Charlton Road in Hitchin

Charlton Road in Hitchin - Credit: Archant

Changes to an accident blackspot junction have been described as “effective” despite another crash forcing the road to shut.

‘Casualty reduction’ work was carried out by Herts County Council in March on the Charlton Road and A602 Parkway junction in Hitchin.

The roadworks, which cost £88,600, involved making alterations to the existing layout so motorists cannot turn right from the A602 into Charlton Road.

Since the changes were made the Comet has reported on several collisions, with the latest last Thursday resulting in the road being shut for almost two hours in the direction heading towards Hitchin town centre.

Two people were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

The Comet has asked the county council for collision statistics since the changes were made, but the authority only holds information on crashes resulting in injury which are reported to police. The last collision resulting in injury the council recorded was in March 2012.

The latest available statistics from Herts police run from January 2002 to February 2013, with two crashes resulting in serious injury, 11 in slight injury and 19 damage only accidents.

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A spokesman for the county council said: “The recent alterations to the junction were introduced to address the known injury collision problem, involving drivers making the right turn into Charlton Road from Parkway. Of the five injury collisions which occurred at the junction between January 2011 and December 2013, three collisions involved drivers making the turn which has now been banned. The new arrangements are considered to be the most effective way to address this pattern of injury collisions.”

Luke Purdy, the landlord of The Millstream pub in Charlton village, said: “I don’t think it is a safer junction, there is poor visibility and in my opinion it is stupid, and they were better of spending the money on lowering the speed limit.”

But Neir Blackham, who lives in the village, said: “It is a lot safer and it just comes down the impatient drivers pulling out.”

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