Activity of the SG19 Road Safety Group
The following notes summarise the main areas of concern in priority order – August 2018
Inadequate junction of New Road with the A1.
The geometry of this important and much used junction is very poor with insufficient splay for vehicles exiting southbound from New Road and turning left into New Road from the A1 – especially HGV’s. There are no line markings in the central reservation which results in confusion by users over right of way and positioning of queuing vehicles, the latter frequently restricting the view of any vehicle trying to pull out into the northbound carriageway. A no-U-turn sign is needed to prevent northbound traffic returning southbound by turning through this junction. HGV’s should not be permitted to turn in a way that crosses either carriageway ie from the northbound carriageway across the southbound into New Road or across the southbound carriageway exiting New Road to turn north. HGV’s only should travel to the next roundabout to execute a turn.
NB This junction is a vital access route into and out of Sandy as was evidenced with the recent closure of Bedford Road. Closing off the central reservation is not acceptable.
Two possible solutions:
The northbound deceleration lane should be moved nearer the southbound carriageway so giving vehicles waiting to pull across into the northbound lane from New Road a clear line of sight for oncoming traffic. White line markings should have a ‘Stop’ across the end of the deceleration lane giving priority to vehicles turning right out of New Road to go north. The white line markings should designate a straight line across, rather than allow vehicles to sit at an angle so not having a clear line of sight.
Similar junctions on the A1 at Buckden and Southoe have line markings which create a safe and natural flow to the use of the junctions. Similar markings are needed at this junction with white lining needed to direct traffic. We visited Buckden where the white lining makes a great difference.
A better engineered solution would be to provide the same junction layout as in place on the A10 at Milton in Cambridge – see attached. (Milton population around 5,000. Sandy population around 12,000.)
Why can we not have the same?
Welcome to Beeston sign in the central reservation at New Road junction.
The size and location of this sign is a potential hazard as it restricts the view of any vehicle trying to pull out into the northbound carriageway.
Access to houses alongside the A1.
There are several entrances and exits along the Sandy stretch which lead directly or indirectly to housing. Where cut-ins exist, it is difficult to pull out into the traffic which is too fast and dangerous. Warning signs are needed at Seddington to alert traffic to this. These signs could follow the example of the signs recently erected at Caldecote referring – in the southbound carriageway – to ‘joining traffic’ and – in the northbound carriageway – ‘crossing traffic’.
Lack of connecting footpath southbound from the footbridge at Beeston to the bus stop and on to New Road.
No proper and safe paved or tarmac’d path to connect the footbridge to the bus stop and on to New Road, hence to Tesco and the railway station. Currently all that exists is a rough dirt track which is dangerous, especially in the wet and the winter. Similar stretches of the A1 near Buckden have established footpaths, running behind barriers in a number of places, alongside the carriageway.
A proper footpath should also extend from New Road towards Biggleswade to link to the existing footpath.
Sandy roundabout signage.
Better signage is needed to direct traffic to both Sunderland Road and Sand Lane industrial estates. Currently it seems reference is made to Middlefield Industrial Estate – no longer in common usage - and too easily confused with Sand Lane Industrial Estate. The latter should be signposted as ‘follow signs for Potton’ and HGV’s be directed via New Road. Additional signage is needed for clarity.
While we welcome the recently erected sign advising no access to Sand Lane Industrial Estate at the entrance to Cambridge Road this is too late as an HGV driver will only see it after turning into this road. This sort of sign is needed on the A1 and certainly well away from the town centre.
Similarly, the signage is inadequate to prevent HGV’s looking for the industrial areas off Sunderland Road from turning off the A1 to be confronted by ‘No entry’ signs for HGV’s at the roundabout at the end of Bedford Road. New, additional and improved signage is required to prevent HGV’s finding themselves unable to access Sunderland Road so either returning along Bedford Road or adding to the problems of the High Street as a snap decision is made.
Ban HGV’s from using the High Street unless delivering.
Too many vehicles - but especially HGV’s - use Sandy High Street as a through route to Potton and beyond. Work with Central Bedfordshire Council is needed to improve New Road/Station Road and so make a relief road for the congested, polluted, town centre.
Unnecessary/incorrect signage in the southbound carriageway at the junction of London Road with the A1.
The sign directs traffic (travelling at 50 mph) off the A1 into Sandy, immediately into a 30mph area, but once it has left the A1 there are no directions into Sandy itself. The signage simply takes people off the A1 via an area of housing and back on to the A1 just before the Sandy roundabout.
Speed limits on the A1 between Sandy, north of Georgetown, and Biggleswade north roundabout.
It is noted that work is ongoing to deliver this improvement but sight should not be lost of the need to ensure prompt installation.
A short stretch of road to and from Biggleswade north roundabout with a speed limit of 60 mph does not achieve anything. If there was a consistent speed limit of 50 mph this would allow for average speed cameras. The Sandy stretch of the A1 should be 50 mph, rather than 60 mph. Buckden has an identical stretch of road with average speed cameras and the Sandy stretch should be the same.
NB This aspect has been discussed in the past when, in January 2016, Simon Amor agreed Average Speed Cameras on our stretch of the A1 were needed and funding would be available in the financial year 2018/19.
Can the date it’s going to happen now be confirmed?