A16: It should have been better

Emergency services at the scene of another crash at the A16, Crowland
Emergency services at the scene of another crash at the A16, Crowland
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John Siddle is very selective in the wording he uses when responding to comments and criticism of the A16 traffic accidents.

It is obvious that the road does not cause crashes; it just sits there quietly all day while people run over it.

All the time you are riding on what feels like corrugated tin or even the roller coaster at Skegness

My sympathy goes to those persons and families affected by the crashes and I have no knowledge of the circumstances, so offer no intended comment.

I would agree that the behaviour and attitude of a lot of drivers leaves a lot to be desired and not just on the A16.

We have a multitude of ages, experience and cultural differences using the roads. Many have not had the thorough training that some get, while others fail to learn from their past experiences or care to take it slowly until that experience is gained.

There was a movie trailer once called “nice and easy does it, nice and easy gets you there every time”.

We could all do well to heed that advice. I wish to arrive in my car not a box.

Now to Mr Siddle’s comments on design. Now, I am not a road engineer, but I have travelled a great number of miles driving an assortment of vehicles and some roads are relatively easy to negotiate, while some have been built with the most stupid of layouts for junctions, safe overtaking and quality of carriageway to allow drivers to make progress and arrive safe without fatigue.

I am afraid the A16 from Spalding to Peterborough via Crowland and Eye does not fall into that category.

On leaving the Cowbit roundabout towards Peterborough, there is a sweeping right hand bend followed by a straight road but, because the road disappears downhill to Queens Bank, nothing can be seen coming towards you until it’s too late.

Next comes the junction for Holbeach Drove, a very heavily used junction for a lot of villages in that area all wishing to either go to Crowland, Peterborough or Spalding.

Traffic goes into blind spots as vehicles turn right and left or carry straight on – it’s a recipe for risk taking and a lack of attention.

Yes, it’s not the fault of the road and it needs drivers to pay attention, but if a roundabout had been designed from the outset, a lot of poor decisions and stress manoeuvres would be eliminated.

The same can be said for the next set of junctions for Nene Terrace and Thorney Road. Again, a roundabout should have been designed from the outset.

Follow the road round the next roundabout and you are on your way to Peterborough, but look ahead and the road disappears again under Wright’s Drove and the bridge at Eye then comes into view.

It appears to be nowhere near where the car is pointing but eventually you do reach Eye and Peterborough with some good quality dual carriageway.

Most likely in seven or eight hours’ time you will repeat it, all in the opposite direction with just the same obstacles and idiots trying to be home before you.

All the time you are riding on what feels like corrugated tin or even the roller coaster at Skegness.

How you can have such an undulating surface crossing the flat fenland landscape with today’s technology is just beyond belief?

Now Mr Siddle, put yourself in your car and drive those routes and junctions that many of us take daily, cross the road in different directions and travel from Peterborough to Spalding and vice versa during happy hour at both ends of the day after a day’s work and get your highways engineers to do it.

Then come back and tell us that it is the best road in the county or admit that it could have been done better.

A good standard of driving is only part of it; we need those in positions of decision making to provide conditions that will allow a good standard of unhindered safety.

The road safety partnership is very good at blaming human factors and speed. It then implements speed limits and claims its job is done.

It should take a little more time to be constructive in its decision making and promote a safer environment for road surfaces, clear junctions, unobstructed road information signs (read tree and bush cutting) and driver awareness.