New roundabout costing £2.1million put forward as solution to dangerous junction in Crowland
A new £2.1million roundabout at a road junction in Crowland branded an "absolute disgrace" could prove a lifesaver.
Growing calls for improvements to the town's A16/B1166 intersection, commonly known as Radar Junction, have been backed by Crowland residents, parish, district and county councillors.
Figures from Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership (LRSP) showed that between January 2011 and December 2017, 16 crashes were recorded at the junction, two of which resulted in deaths.
A man died and four people were injured in a two-car crash on November, 2012, while a woman died and three people were injured after a three-car collision in May 2015.
David Barfoot, of Shepeau Stow, said: "There are too many entrances and too many roads coming off Radar Junction.
"It's very confusing for drivers to know where they want to be and I think there are a lot of accidents there that aren't being reported.
"The B1166 itself is falling to pieces and there are cracks all over it, despite work being done there a few years ago.
"When there was a meeting of councillors and highways people at Radar Junction two years ago, I put forward a solution to put staggered signs up, warning drivers that they are approaching a dangerous crossing.
"But finding a solution revolves around one thing, money, and people have to stand up and be counted now."
The roundabout was chosen as the favoured solution by Lincolnshire County Council Highways Alliance in a report published earlier this year.
An extract from the report said: "The introduction of a roundabout would provide the desired effect in reducing the annual rate of collisions at the existing junction layout.
"The roundabout will, however, increase journey times on the A16 because of the need to reduce speed, or possibly stop to give way, when navigating the roundabout."
Parish and district councillor Bryan Alcock said: "The junction remains dangerous for users to negotiate and the volume of traffic appears to be increasing on both roads.
"Meanwhile, residential development in the Holbeach area will result in even more commuter traffic using a junction which is fundamentally flawed and has not only contributed to accidents but, sadly, also some deaths."
Action to improve Radar Junction also has the backing of Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones who visited Crowland for a public meeting last August when described the A16/B1166 intersection as "an absolute disgrace".
Speaking to the Spalding Guardian on Tuesday, Mr Jones said: "Having seen the challenges of navigating this treacherous junction first-hand on many occasions, I fully support local residents in their push for safety improvements.
"Whilst I fully understand the limited resources available to the county Council, the tragedies at this junction mount and so action should be taken as soon as possible."
But Crowland county councillor Nigel Pepper warned of an even bigger stumbling block to the roundabout, with the introduction of average speed cameras on the A16 in November 2016 having resulted in fewer crashes at the junction.
Coun Pepper said: "LRSP undertakes the monitoring of collision data on all roads within the county and it has listed 838 locations where there have been three or more collisions within the last five years.
"The process produced a ranking of these locations based on a scoring process, with the A16/B1166 placed 46th.
"Therefore, the conclusion is that this junction is not one of the highest priority locations for remedial action.
In response to the Highways Alliance report, Coun Richard Davies, the county council's executive member for highways, said: "We are aware of the number of collisions at the junction and have taken steps to address this.
"As speed was been a factor in many of these collisions, we have installed average speed cameras and reactive signs which have made a significant difference to speeds at the junction.
"We also undertook a study looking at other measures that could improve safety.
"However, whilst a roundabout was top of the list, there is currently no funding available for such an expensive project.
"We will continue to monitor the situation and would encourage motorists to take extra care when navigating the junction."