Councillors from Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) have blamed an increase in accidents on Essex County Council's refusal to implement road safety schemes.

According to R4U, the road safety improvement schemes were funded and should have been implemented in March this year, but were blocked by the county council administration.

R4U Cllr Paul Gadd, who represents Saffron Walden at Essex County Council, said: "To save money at financially troubled Essex County Council, the Conservative administration has blocked many needed highways improvement schemes in Uttlesford, and as a result they have directly put lives at risk.

Dunmow Broadcast: R4U Cllr Paul GaddR4U Cllr Paul Gadd (Image: Uttlesford District Council)

"For example, at the request of Elmdon Parish Council, I proposed a scheme to make the crossroads safe on Quicksett Rd, Elmdon, where there have now been some 10 accidents in the last 10 months.

"The scheme was already designed and ready to be installed, and then Essex County Council put it on hold.

"Since then, there have been two further accidents at the junction, thankfully none of them fatal. This and all other proposed road schemes for Uttlesford were stopped by ECC in March this year.

"Conservative Cllr Ray Gooding, who chairs ECC’s Uttlesford Local Highway Panel which oversees these things, has halted any work and refused to meet us to allow these important highways improvement programmes to proceed."

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R4U councillors wrote to Essex County Council to express their lack of confidence in the current administration.

Cllr Gadd added: "Uttlesford residents pay ECC £40m a year in council taxes to provide services such as maintaining our roads.

"Good road markings are the most basic safety feature – and they are not costly."

A spokesperson for Essex Highways said: "The Uttlesford District Local Highway Panel met on Thursday (6 July) and agreed to commission the scheme in Elmdon. The junction improvement work will be carried out as soon as resources allow. 

"The scheme was originally funded and designed in the last financial year but due to various resource limitations had to be re-commissioned for inclusion in this year’s programme.

"The Elmdon junction improvement work is one of a number of schemes now being progressed by the Uttlesford Local Highways Panel."