Danger Stretch of A127 Targeted By New Safety Scheme
Speed Averaging Could Achieve 50% Reduction in Deaths and Serious Injuries on Notorious Accident Stretch.
A new road safety scheme aimed at reducing death and serious injury on the most notorious accident stretch of the A127 and involving high-tech speeding detection technology is to be operational early in the New Year.
The technology being used, speed averaging cameras, has been successfully used elsewhere in the UK to reduce accidents, with 50% falls in serious casualties being recorded.
Similar schemes have also seen reductions in congestion and delays not only by reducing the number of incidents on stretches of road where the technology has been used, but also by allowing traffic to flow at a more constant speed.
In the past, the part of the eastern end of the A127 in question has been affected by a high number of serious accidents. The 10km stretch between Nevendon and the Southend on Sea boundary has seen 4 fatal, 27 serious and 152 slight accidents in the past 3 years, resulting in over 250 casualties
Now, with funding available from the private and public sector, a new route management project is being delivered involving the introduction of a new 50mph speed limit and average speed safety cameras.
The scheme will cover the accident stretch with a 70mph limit from the Nevendon interchange to just after the Dick Turpin pub and reduced to 50mph for the remaining 6.2km leading up to the Southend-on-Sea Borough boundary.
The project, which is the first of its kind in Essex, will include:
· An average speed safety camera zone stretching 10km from the Nevendon interchange to the Southend on Sea Borough boundary.
· This will be 70mph limit for the first 3.8km and then a 50mph speed limit, (6.2km in length), which will run from the junction with the un-named road to Fanton Hall (just past the Dick Turpin public house eastbound), to the Southend on Sea Borough boundary
· A comprehensive package of advisory signing
· Remedial work, such as improved signing and barriers
· Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras, with journey time measuring capability.
Normal road policing activity will also support the scheme.
This project, estimated to cost £1.2m uses some recent developments with the average speed camera system such as the ability to track ‘lane changing’ and utilises infra-red lighting to enhance night-time enforcement. The scheme is to be part funded by the Essex-based firm KeyMed Ltd.
Councillor Norman Hume, Cabinet member of Highways and Transportation said: “I am pleased we are going to be able to deliver this technology which is proven to reduce accidents on one of our busiest roads."
“With this scheme we will see fewer lives affected by the personal tragedy which accompanies serious accidents on Essex’s roads."
“Speed averaging cameras also have a role to play in easing congestion, not only in reducing accidents and therefore accompanying delays, but also in evening out traffic flows and I hope this will be the case with the A127."
“My thanks go to our partners at KeyMed who are generously supporting this venture which will make a real positive difference to our resident’s lives.”
Chief Superintendent Mick Thwaites of Essex Police said: “This route management strategy is an innovative project which we fully support and we anticipate that it will dramatically reduce the level of casualties on this road.”
The installation work began in September 2008, with the preparation of utilities. Much of the above ground work will now begin and implementation of most of the project will be carried out during off peak hours, with the minimum of inconvenience to road users.
It is expected that the works, including the introduction of the new reduced speed limit, will be completed in early 2009.