THE growing clamour for action on a major tourist route near Uttoxeter has received fresh backing from a borough councillor.
Councillor Chris Smith, a former Rocester shopkeeper who represents the Churnet ward on East Staffordshire Borough Council, has agreed that changes need to be made on the 85030 Uttoxeter to Rocester road.
Calls have been made for action since the latest fatality of the notorious stretch late last year and councillor Smith said changes are due to cope with the ever-growing use of the road.
He said: “We really do need to look at the road conditions on the B5030 as over the last 20 years we have seen a massive increase in traffic load with JCB, Alton Towers, Spath Quarry, JCB Academy and general tourism.
“I hasten to add though that we do not want to do without any of them.
“I fully realise the county council is at full stretch with its funding on county roads, but I do think we need to keep up the pressure on the highways authority to review its local strategy to help alleviate the terrible accidents that are occurring on this stretch of road which are costing lives.”
Councillor Smith also agreed with calls that have been made in the Advertiser that crash barriers should be reintroduced near to the JCB headquarters junction.
He also suggested that a change of classification of the road from B to A should be considered.
He said: “The crash barriers do need reinstating bordering the lake where the most recent accident took place.
“In parts of the road, widening could be a help considering the volume of heavy traffic that uses this road.
“Additional signage to help the many visitors to the area could help and if it was to be upgraded to an A road these would be installed automatically.
“The speed limit of 50mph just prior to Station Road, Rocester, also needs bringing back towards Uttoxeter and starting at the junction to Combridge.
“Finally the B5030 needs realigning at the junctions of Station Road and High Street in Rocester and with a roundabout of sufficient size to accommodate the heavy traffic installed.
“I do have to say that all the ideas in the world regarding road planning will not come up with the perfect solution but we can try and help it.”
The latest fatal accident on the road happened in November when former Thomas Alleyne’s High School pupil Stephen Hallam was killed when his Ford Focus left the road near to the JCB World Headquarters at Rocester.
After that tragedy the county council was asked if it would be investigating the safety of the road but it said it was not in a position to say either way at the time.
County councillor Mike Maryon, cabinet member for highways and transport at Staffordshire County Council, said: “We monitor all accidents reported to us, and will look at any particular area to see if anything can be done to prevent something happening in the future.
“However, in this case we would not want to pre-empt the police investigation which is currently ongoing.”