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County Highways under fire for refusing to fix Gosberton danger junction




County Highways is under fire for refusing to fix a dangerous junction at Gosberton where drivers daily dice with death.

A confusing road layout sees cars and lorries pile off Boston Road (the B1397) and shoot across painted Give Way lines to face a potential head-on crash.

Drivers are mistakenly turning into the right hand lane of a double-lane exit from the village.

The red car is in its proper lane ... but cars coming from Boston turn into this lane when there is no standing traffic at the junction.
The red car is in its proper lane ... but cars coming from Boston turn into this lane when there is no standing traffic at the junction.

That lane - for right turns to Spalding - doesn't have its own No Entry sign, although a sign guards the left hand lane.

Hairdresser Aysel Fox has a shop in the spot known as Five Bells Corner, and sees around five vehicles make the wrong turn each day.

Aysel says there have been many accidents while the county council says only two have been recorded in the last five years.

Spalding Guardian reporter Lynne Harrison had her latest in a series of near misses at the junction last week and posted on Facebook to see if it was a common problem.

More than 70 people replied, many recounting stories of near misses.

District councillor Jane King said: "Lives could be lost for the sake of a tin of paint to provide proper warning markings on the road surface itself and a No Entry sign immediately next to the right hand lane."

We shared the social media response with the council - along with Aysel's comments on the number of vehicles making wrong turns.

Hairdresser Aysel Fox sees around five cars a day entering Gosberton via the wrong lane, where the red car is pictured in this shot.
Hairdresser Aysel Fox sees around five cars a day entering Gosberton via the wrong lane, where the red car is pictured in this shot.

But the council executive member for highways, Richard Davies, says the junction has been looked at by Highways before - when it was decided no additional signs were needed - and the accident record isn't bad enough to win external funding for a roundabout.

Coun King said: "In light of all the complaints and near misses there have been at that junction, I think that LCC Highways and Coun Richard Davies comments and attitude are appalling.

"How many accidents need to happen before it's even looked at? Isn't it about time that Highways started to be proactive not reactive."

Coun King will now work with fellow district councillors and Donington, Quadring and Gosberton parish councils to get a rethink.

Coun Davies said: "While we understand the local concerns about the junction, there is very little accident history here.

"In the past five years, only two minor incidents have been recorded, which means we would be very unlikely to get the external funding needed for major improvements, such as a roundabout.

"This issue has been raised in the past, and we have looked at whether any additional signage is needed to avoid confusion, but no changes were deemed necessary.

"We will continue to monitor the situation, and would encourage motorists to take extra care when using the junction."

A county highways spokesman added: "Putting in an additional 'No Entry' sign at the junction would require a legal order, and the process would be likely to cost around £2,500.

"In addition, a 'No Entry' sign on the splitter island has the potential for creating confusion. For example, people may believe it applies to the lane entering High Street.

"That is why a 'Keep Left' was instead incorporated within the nearby bollard, indicating which side of the splitter island motorists should use when turning into High Street."

The council explained that the ball park cost is for design, installation and supervision, including provision of suitable traffic management while workforce are on site.

The council says in addition to the installation costs, the sign will require direct illumination, which will mean connection to the power supply and the payment of future energy costs.

Below are just some of the comments posted on Facebook by Donington and Gosberton residents when we asked about incidents at the junction.

* Had a near miss with a lorry on that junction when I had my baby in the car.

*Happened to me three times, once with a lorry. I phoned Highways and said it should be signposted better for people who don't know the road. They were not interested. Wait until someone gets killed, then they might do something about it.

* Seen someone go down the wrong way on a few occasions. Something will only be done when it's too late.

* Someone did this to me last week, not for the first time.

* I have been in a car twice when drivers have done it - different drivers each time.

* A private ambulance entered Gosberton on the wrong side a few weeks ago. Not many B roads have priority over A roads like at Five Bells Corner.

* Happened to me three times, once with a lorry. I also phoned Highways- they were not interested.

* It happened to me a couple of weeks ago - I was turning right out of the village. The other driver swerved just before he turned.

* Sorry to say Lincolnshire roads are governed by how many people get hurt. Another resident replied: That's why it is important to ask about the safety audit. If it seems they are not going to give the audit info, keep on until you see it.

* I've seen both cars and big lorries coming into Gosberton on the wrong road ... it's scary.



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