Saturday, 7 January 2012

Accident at Bembridge

Few people will disagree that the junction of Bembridge and Brookside Avenue is an accident waiting to happen and today the accident happened.

The junction is right next to two bus stops deliberately placed opposite each other on Brookside Avenue with the futile hope of slowing drivers down.  In reality, it just causes cars to drive down the wrong side of the road to get past the buses on the occasions when the buses aren't timed (again, deliberately) to stop at the same time to block the road.

Just before the bus stops, which are close to the brow of a hill as well as a junction, are speed cushions (those stupid speed humps that sit like pimples in the road) which around half of drivers ignore by driving down the middle of the road to avoid them, often swerving at the last minute in front of oncoming traffic to go between them.

So that's a junction, bus stops, central refuge, speed cushions and the brow of a hill all in the space of about 20 yards.  It's no surprise, when the mean average speed (add them all up and divide by the number of speeds recorded) on Brookside Avenue is 40mph, that there's been an accident at that spot which is particularly problematic for people driving too fast.

Today's accident was between a motorbike and a car.  I drove past it just after the ambulance had arrived and it looked like the motorbike and car had hit each other head-on.  Amazingly, nobody was seriously injured and the motorcyclist was walking when the ambulance arrived.  It's a miracle nobody has been killed on Brookside Avenue, especially on this stretch of the road.

The speed blisters don't work because people still drive too fast (especially motorbikes) and drive down the middle of the road to avoid them.  The bus stops don't slow people down because they drive down the wrong side of the road to get round them.  All they have done is make the road more dangerous than if they weren't there.

The police are still investigating the cause of today's accident and if the road layout is a contributing factor then hopefully this will be justification enough for Telford & Wrekin Council and the police to finally do something to make Brookside Avenue safer.