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Village residents in favour of closing A43 Whitfield junction

The Whitfield Junction on the A43 near Brackley.

The Whitfield Junction on the A43 near Brackley.

Village residents and councillors are calling for improvements to be made to the dangerous A43 Whitfield junction or for it to be closed altogether, following a number of accidents.

Northants County councillor for Brackley, Jim Broomfield, and Whitfield Parish Council chairman, Simon Clarke, are urging the Highways Agency to take action after 21-year-old Andrew Hobbs died last month, when his Saab 93 was in collision with a red Volkswagen Scirroco on the junction.

With recent poor weather conditions, there are further fears about the safety of road users coming on and off the dual carriageway.

Mr Broomfield said: “I raised the issue with the Highways Agency just before Christmas and they are currently conducting an investigation before reporting back to myself and the parish council.

“They’ve got to do something about it surely, whether it is completely closing it down and redirecting traffic, or putting in a roundabout. Saving lives is the most important thing.

“There was a similar junction at Evenley, and it took several years before any change was made. The sad thing is that it takes a tragic death before anything is done, so I will be chasing the Highways Agency.

“The more pressure that is applied, the more likely something will be done sooner.”

A survey has been conducted in Whitfield asking whether local residents would mind having the junction closed in an attempt to increase safety. Eighty per cent called for the junction to be closed.

Claire Clarke, the wife of parish council chairman, Simon, conducted the village-wide survey.

It is yet to be presented to the Highways Agency, but she hopes it will help to trigger change.

Mrs Clarke said: “In addition to Andrew’s death, there was also another incident around six years ago on the junction where there were moves to close the junction even then, but the Highways Agency decided not to.

“I’m not sure whether a roundabout would be the answer, due to the costly nature of it, and in the long term there will have to be more major works to elevate the road over the planned HS2 track.

“Perhaps the gap could be closed to the public with no entry signs, forcing drivers to have to turn around on the roundabout, and allowing the gap to be used should the emergency services require access.”

 

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