Crashes on the A5 have cost us more than £200m

Reporter:

Emily Davies

A dangerous road has cost the taxpayer more than £200million since it opened.

Staggering statistics revealed there have been 58 deaths and more than 1,700 accidents – most involving local people – on the notorious A5 between Shrewsbury and Chirk since 1991 when the bypass was created.

And in turn this has cost the taxpayer nearly £224 million.

They were revealed during a visit by transport minister John Hayes – who is currently considering the second round of Roads Investment Strategy schemes for 2020 and beyond – on Thursday as part of the long-running campaign by North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson to see the road turned into a dual carriageway.

Mr Paterson said: “This road is killing people. The latest figures are horrific and the road is completely inadequate for today’s needs.

“It takes international heavy goods vehicles and it is completely ridiculous to have that on a road that hasn’t changed since Thomas Telford designed it in the 1840s.”

The day-long visit of the minister included an inspection of the notorious Shotatton crossroads, where Mr Hayes was taken across the A5 in a tractor, with a meeting with residents, business owners and councillors on parish, town and county level.

Mr Hayes, who announced the commission of two reports into the impact road designs can have on the behaviour of drivers, vowed to take the concerns raised seriously.

He said: “Rarely do I see so many people from different parts of the area and organisations coming together to share a common concern.

“The government is determined to deliver around the country to ease congestion, add to the well-being and the safety of people on our roads.

“I’m here to listen to what you have to say.”

Following the meeting, Mr Hayes visited Pant and Llanymynech where the UK’s longest bypass campaign has been going since the 1970s.

Figures for the A483, which runs through the village, show there have been 11 deaths and nearly 300 accidents, costing £41.5 million.

Chairman of Llanymynech and Pant Parish Council Dilys Gaskill said: “People raised their concerns. Obviously the bypass is the aim, but the minister listened and promised to link up with his counterparts in Wales.

“I don’t know about the bypass, but something has to be done because the sheer volume of traffic is worrying.

“We must have moved up the list because we keep raising the profile.”

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