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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Safety campaign for A66 danger junction

A MAN from Little Broughton is campaigning for changes to the village’s junction with the busy A66 following the death of a motorcyclist there last month.

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DANGER JUNCTION: Locals are calling for the A66 junction for Brigham, Broughton Cross, and Great Broughton to be made into a roundabout

Michael Crombleholme, 72, of Church Meadows, lost his own son in a road accident.

He does not want other families to go through the pain suffered by the relatives of Paul Fursey, who died in collision with a car on the main Cockermouth-Workington route.

Mr Crombleholme said: “My son Paul was killed in a road accident in 1989 in Bristol.

“He was stationery on his motorbike waiting on a slip road to turn right at a junction and somebody ran into him. He was only 27.

“I was so moved because of Paul Fursey’s death and the way it happened and all the terrible memories of what happened to my son came flooding back.

“I thought if we can’t do something about it there’s something wrong.”

Mr Crombleholme and wife Joan carried out a traffic monitoring survey and discovered that, on a typical day, more than 16,000 vehicles, including more than 1,000 lorries, used the A66 past the staggered junction for Broughton and Brigham.

Between 7am and 10am they counted 877 vehicles using the Broughton junction and 377 using the Brigham turning.

He would like to see changes made, and ideally a roundabout put in, to make getting in and out of the villages safer.

A relative who is a graphic designer has drawn up a suggested layout which he feels could be implemented at minimal cost.

It would see a mini roundabout put in at the Broughton turning, using the existing slip road as a left-turn lane.

Traffic leaving Brigham would turn left and double back at the roundabout for Cockermouth.

Mr Crombleholme is working with county councillor Eddie Martin, Allerdale councillors Nicky Cockburn and Tony North.

Some neighbours are already on board with the campaign and Mr Crombleholme plans to have letters delivered to every home in Great Broughton, Little Broughton and Brigham this week calling on villagers to back it.

He has also met with Workington MP Sir Tony Cunningham and has spoken to Cumbria police, who are looking in to accident records and possible alternative road layouts.

A site visit is being arranged involving the Highways Agency, which is responsible for the A66, Cumbria County Council, which is responsible for the roads joining it at the junctions, the county and district councillors, parish councillors and police.

Mr Crombleholme added: “It only needs somebody that stalls their car and stops in the carriageway and there’s a heavy lorry that can’t stop and there’ll be a tragedy.

“The aim is to make it safer for pedestrians, car drivers, lorry drivers and everybody else who uses the A66 Brigham and Broughton junction and make it so it’s not a hit and miss thing to come out of the junction.

“Somebody I spoke to likened it to a chicken run.”

A roundabout has been mooted in the past but nothing was done as it was felt at the time that too many roundabouts close together could increase the risk of a crash.

Coun Martin said: “I am very supportive of the proposals to change the structure of the junction if we can with the Highways Agency. Such intersections do need periodic monitoring.”

Sir Tony added: “What we want is the best they can provide.

“The least they can do given the circumstances is look at it.”

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