Councillor pleads for action after spate of ‘horrific’ accidents at ‘dangerous’ crossroads

A councillor has expressed fears a fatal accident is imminent at a ‘dangerous’ crossroads – and called for action to stop further collisions.

Monday, 25th July 2022, 3:02 pm

In recent weeks, there have been a number of crashes at the crossroads of Main Street and Mansfield Road, just outside Palterton.

Coun Joan Dixon, who represents Bolsover South on Derbyshire Council, has received reports of four collisions in the past few weeks – including two on consecutive days.

She said: “I contacted our highways department before the four crashes we’ve had in the last two weeks, and the response I got was there had only been seven incidents in three years at the crossroads.

Coun Joan Dixon said she is worried that a fatal accident will occur.

“I’m a resident myself and I've seen cars upside down in fields, I’ve seen them smash through fences – residents have told me there’s been a lot more than seven.

“There were two accidents on consecutive days recently – it’s becoming a real issue and I’m frustrated. The road traffic accident data is not reflecting what is happening at the junction and the council doesn’t realise quite how dangerous it is.”

Coun Dixon urged the council to act now – and said the next accident could well be fatal.

“The local highways officer is coming out to meet me, but I think something needs to be done now, rather than waiting until next year’s capital programme.

“It could take one-and-a-half years before we get anything done through that, and think about the number of accidents that could happen before then.

“Some of these crashes are horrific – one woman was left upside down in her car, hanging by her seatbelt.

“People are telling me it’s going to take a death for get something done, and that’s exactly what I don’t want – the people involved in these recent collisions have, thank god, walked away in one piece, but some of them have been really lucky.

“I’m the county councillor and I’ve been banging on about this junction for ages – it just takes too long for things to get done.

“Somebody is not going to be lucky next time there’s a crash, and that’s playing on my mind – I don’t want to be responsible for a death or a serious injury.”

Coun Dixon said she had written to Coun Kewal Singh Athwal, council cabinet member for highways assets, to stress the importance of immediate measures to curb the number of collisions.

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She said traffic lights would help to achieve this – with the roads in the area only getting busier.

“I’ve written to Coun Athwal and said we can’t wait for things to be done in next year’s programme – it needs to be made a priority now as it’s becoming a regular thing.

“As you come out of Palterton, the road splits and, although there is a give way sign, there’s also an ‘ending national speed limits’ sign.

“I’m wondering whether people accelerate after seeing that sign coming out of Palterton, and then three or four metres later they hit the junction – it might be people who don’t know the area aren’t expecting that to be there.

“The whole area around Bolsover is growing. There are new houses at every corner, and that whole area around Rylah Hill – which is in itself a dangerous road – is getting busier and busier.

“I know some people most likely won’t like traffic lights, but a few extra minutes of waiting is a price worth paying to stop someone dying.”

A council spokesman said: “The council is aware of the problems at the crossroads and is now working closely with the police to establish the circumstances of this recent spate of incidents here.

“The junction has previously been subject to surfacing, signing, street lighting and visibility improvements over a number of years.

“Highways officers are currently exploring whether any interim lower costs improvements are warranted in the short term, although some improvements may require capital investment from future years programmes.”