Time for action not words on A40 safety in Raglan

Monday 11th July 2022 6:00 am
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WORDS need to be turned into action to improve safety on the A40 at Raglan, local politicians have said.

There have been long-standing concerns over the “dangerous” junctions crossing the busy dual carriageway.

One of those is between Monmouth Road and Groesenon Road – known locally as the Dingestow junction – and another is where pedestrians cross to visit Raglan Castle.

There have also been repeated pleas for the speed limit to be reduced from 70mph to 50mph after a spate of accidents and near-misses.

A meeting on Friday (June 24) saw Raglan Community Council get together with officials from Monmouthshire County Council and Welsh Government to discuss potential solutions.

It comes ahead of a planned safety study on this stretch of road, which officers representing Welsh Government deputy climate change minister Lee Waters confirmed at the meeting will take place during the next financial year “at the latest”.

Monmouth MP David Davies, who attended alongside his Senedd colleague Peter Fox MS, said words now needed to be “turned into action”.

“The Welsh Government officers were very helpful and fully acknowledge there is a problem, but we really needed the minister himself to turn up so he could grasp the seriousness of the situation,” said Mr Davies.

“I was concerned to hear there is a long lag in recording accident statistics and only then if there are serious injuries or a fatality.

“I was involved in attending an accident on the A40 at Raglan over the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend, which required an air ambulance. Yet as of this moment, it is not showing up on the statistics”.

Mr Davies said he believed the right turn crossing on to the A40 exiting Raglan from Monmouth Road was “no longer fit for purpose”.

“I commend Raglan Community Council for the suggested solutions it has put forward and as a former professional lorry driver myself, they made a lot of sense,” he added. “I particularly think as a starting measure, there should be a temporary no right turn on to the A40.

“All vehicles travelling from Monmouth Road should turn left only and turn around at the existing roundabout if they need to head eastbound, instead of pulling across several lanes of busy and fast traffic.

“This struck me as a cheap and easy interim measure that could be implemented fairly swiftly.

“That said, I do accept any changes to a major road network such as the A40 have to be assessed by highway professionals – which is why we need the Welsh Government to conduct a formal safety review as quickly as possible.”

Mr Fox said that without measures and safety improvements, he fears it is only a “matter of time” before there is another serious accident.

“There have long been calls for effective and permanent measures to tackle persistent dangers on the A40 junction,” he added.

“It was reassuring to hear highway officers also agreed with these calls. But actions speak louder than words.

“We urge the Welsh Government, which is responsible for the road’s maintenance, to carry out urgent work to improve the safety of the existing road junctions and impose a 50mph speed restriction.”

Accidents are often reported on the A40 stretch between Monmouth and Abergavenny, with GB triathlete and mum-of-two Rebecca Comins, 52, involved in a fatal collision with a van near Raglan during a time-trial cycling race on the Platinum Jubilee weekend.

An Abergavenny man was arrested and released pending further inquiries.

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