Safety fears at blind spot on busy Blackpool road junction

Calls have been made to improve the safety of a traffic junction after drivers warned the construction of a new fence has created a dangerous blind spot.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 10:56 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 10:58 am
Coun Graham Baker at the junction

Motorists emerging from Division Lane into Common Edge Road in Marton say the structure has reduced their visibility of traffic accelerating as it approaches the 40mph zone on Queensway.

They fear their pleas for action are falling on deaf ears because the junction lies on the border of Blackpool and Fylde councils.

While Blackpool Council has authority over the height and positioning of the fence, Lancashire County Council (as the highway authority for Fylde) has responsibility for the road.

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Coun Graham Baker, who represents Stanley ward on Blackpool Council, is campaigning for action on behalf of residents.

Blackpool Council planners have told him the fence meets its requirements on height, while LCC says the sight line for traffic is acceptable for a 30mph zone.

But Coun Baker said: “Unfortunately these two responses do not address the very dangerous situation that definitely exists at this point when drivers are trying to exit Division Lane.”

Householder Maureen Williams says she needs the fence to protect her home after three accidents when out-of-control drivers have crashed into her garden.

She said LCC advised her on where to position the fence, but she would be prepared to move it if the council funded the changes.

Mrs Williams said: “There have been three accidents here. The last one in July 2020 saw me woken up at 3am with the original fence having been pulled down and a car had nearly gone into the house.

“So I need a strong fence to protect myself. LCC told me the sight line was ok, and I can’t afford to replace it.

“I would move the fence back and give up some of the garden, but I can’t afford to do it.”

Coun Baker said: “Solving this problem is made worse because two authorities are involved and appear to be pointing at each other and hiding behind the planning and highway rules.

“These though must not be reasons to overlook a very dangerous situation.

“If Mrs Williams is willing for the highways authority to reclaim the land to a position where there is a safe sight line, I hope Blackpool Council or LCC, or both, can see their way to funding that.

“It would be the quickest and cheapest way of resolving this.”

Division Lane resident Harvey Pomfret said many people were worried there could be a serious accident.

He said: “We would like a safety risk assessment to be carried out by the highways officers at this horrendous concealed junction which is on a bend, on an incline, with no vision and traffic travelling well in excess of 30mph.

“But because it is on a boundary no one wants to take responsibility.”

Following a site visit John Blackledge, Blackpool Council’s director of community and environmental services, said: “We are currently considering the issue and in dialogue with the owner of the fence.”

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