Fresh accident at crash hotspot

Sunday 9th October 2016 6:00 am
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THE Golden Pot crossroads, on the B3349 Alton to Odiham road, was the scene last Friday night of yet another serious crash – the second in just three weeks.

The latest incident has reinforced the clamour for “something to be done” to improve the safety for those having to negotiate what has become an accident blackspot.

Since taking over the running of the Golden Pot at Shalden in August 2013, landlord Nicholas Christides says he has seen an average of two accidents a month on the crossroads outside the pub, “some minor, some much more serious”.

On September 11, the pub’s fence was smashed to pieces when a Ford Focus skidded off the road, and emergency services were there again last week after two cars collided at high speed, leaving a vehicle on its roof. A young female with neck injuries had to be cut free.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Services received a call at 9.54pm and dispatched two vehicles from Rushmoor to assisted extract the 28-year-old woman.

According to South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS), which sent a rapid response vehicle and an ambulance to the scene, the patient was “conscious and breathing but suffering back and neck pain.” She was taken by road to North Hampshire Hospital at Basingstoke.

Hampshire Constabulary was also out in force – Mr Christides thought up to 20 officers may have attended.

A petition, started by residents, urging Hampshire County Council to instal traffic lights at the crossroads, has attracted more than 550 signatures.

However, it appeared to have hit a stumbling block last week when, as reported in the Herald, the county council’s executive member for environment and transport, Rob Humby, said he doubted installing traffic lights at the location would reduce accidents – and that it was up to drivers to drive more responsibly.

However, Alton county councillor Mark Kemp-Gee believes the time has come for Hampshire County Council to take action.

He said: “Each time an accident happens now I report it to the county’s highways safety engineering team so they are being logged by the county council, as there is some question that the police accident records may not fully reflect this worsening situation.

“We have been trying very hard to promote the traffic lights or roundabout ideas but to no avail as yet.

“Traffic lights are thought by the engineers to make matters worse as drivers simply are not programmed to anticipate them in the middle of a country area – and warning signage and other calming measures would, they say, have to be very substantial but would have no guarantee of success.

“The roundabout idea, similarly, does not seem to gain any traction because of space and positioning issues.

“However, I think we all agree, and residents and district councillors speak as one with me, that we cannot go on as we are. Accordingly, I shall be expecting an interim solution to be brought

forward at the very least.

“Additionally, funding for improvements is now more easily available because developer highways contributions are becoming available from substantial upcoming developments in Alton.”

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