In early 2017, Hampshire County Council announced that it is no longer funding discretionary traffic measures. This means that unless there is a traffic safety record in a particular area, no money is available to make road improvements.
So now, whenever a residents contacts me about traffic issues, I have to find out what the safety record is, unless, the road in question is close to a new housing development, when I may be able to direct some of the highways developers contributions towards the road in question.
Areas of Concern
Below are some of the areas I have been contacted about and actions I have been asked to pursue;-
- Greggs School – Request for 20mph Speed Zone
- Allington Lane – Traffic speed reduction near entrance to Itchen Valley County Park
o Make a permanent fixture of the traffic lights at the railway bridge
o Improve road safety at the junction of Fir Tree Lane and Allington Lane
- West End High Street – Heavy traffic in a narrow street where caution has to be made regarding drivers looking for places to park
o Cycle safety an issue as the High Street is too compact to continue the off-road cycle lane
- Meadowsweet Way – HGV incursion and parking issues at the Botley Road junction
- Knowle Lane – HGV incursion
- Knowle Kane/Burnetts Lane/Botley Road junction – Unsafe when turning right across traffic into Burnetts Lane
- Pelican Crossing requested for residents to cross Botley Road, Horton Heath to only nearby supermarket
Southern Allington Lane Accident Record
- From May 2011 to April 2016 there were 20 injury accidents over the entire length of Allington Lane
- From April 2012 to April 2017 there were 2 injury accidents (Both classified as slight by the police) for the section of Allington Lane between Itchen Valley Country Park and Oaktree Caravan Park
- In 2012, there was a further collision, classified as serious by the police, which occurred at the railway bridge
By 2017, the current road safety record at the southern end does not prioritise Allington Lane in the County’s casualty reduction programmes.
Reduced Government funding for public services in turn reduces the scope for the County to bring forward measures to address local concerns, and has necessitated the limited funding remaining to be prioritised. In the case of traffic management measures, the limited funding is now directed at reducing casualties at those locations with a record of persistent injury collisions, with these areas prioritised over locations where residents or road users are concerned about the potential for incidents, but where to date the road safety record is better by comparison.
In trying to raise funds for the southern end of Allington Lane from the Hatch Farm, Barbe Baker Avenue developer’s contributions I discovered that it is too far away since it is forecast that the majority of the development trips will head towards the A27.
Northern Allington Lane Accident Record
- From February 2012 to February 2017 there have been two slight injury accidents near to the junction of Fir Tree Lane. Ordinarily this would fall short of the County’s intervention criteria for casualty reduction measures, which are four or more injury accidents at a single location over a five-year period, reduced to three where accidents with a similar pattern have occurred or serious injuries are involved. The police confirm that although there had been other collisions during this period, none had resulted in injury.
Given the low number of injury accidents by the summer of 2017, the County were able to commit to some simple low cost measures. These included the enhancement of the centre lines and edge of carriageway markings and the addition of cat ’s eyes around the bend, the cutting back of vegetation around the signs plus a new “Slow” marking for northbound traffic.
- 2016 – A motorcyclist travelling south ended up in the ditch by Fir Tree Lane junction.
- Spring 2017 – Vehicle travelling north ended up facing south in a front garden in the early morning. Driver and passenger left the vehicle but were later apprehended by the Police in Fair Oak village and were found to be over the alcohol limit.
- April 2017 – Learner motorcyclist travelling south landed in garden ditch in the early evening; not reported to the Police.
- July 2017 – Vehicle travelling down Fir Tree Lane crossed the junction at Allington Lane without stopping, late evening. The vehicle hit the telegraph pole and remained partway in the road, narrowly missing traffic in the lane and becoming a dangerous obstruction. The driver fled the scene.
- On the 25th August 2017, there was a serious accident at the Fir Tree Lane junction in which a motorcyclist sustained a life changing injury. This accident involved a car travelling north turning right into Fir Tree Lane in collision with the motorcyclist who was travelling south. Due to the serious nature of the recent collision, this location will now also be subject of a separate investigation by the Casualty Reduction Partnership (CRP), which is led by officers from Hampshire County Council, alongside Eastleigh Borough Council and Hampshire Constabulary. The five-year personal injury accident (PIA) history will be carefully examined to take in the previous collisions. It may be that the partnership, in due course, will consider further measures over and above those already planned.
A local resident told me “it is speed and the huge volume of traffic that has increased the frequency of the incidents”.
Lack of Government funding is the root cause of traffic measures not being put in place. See my piece on transport infrastructure