Protesters win fight to reclassify A-road

PUBLISHED: 09:57 31 January 2008 | UPDATED: 06:55 30 May 2010

Campaigners hope the reclassification of the A130 will reduce traffic congestion as sat-navs won’t use that road  Picture: MICHAEL BOYTON

Campaigners hope the reclassification of the A130 will reduce traffic congestion as sat-navs won't use that road Picture: MICHAEL BOYTON

DUNMOW S road link to Chelmsford town centre is to be re-classed following campaigning by villagers, parish councils and schools. The A130, which runs through the villages of Barnston and Ford End, has been downgraded to a B road by the Department of Tran

DUNMOW'S road link to Chelmsford town centre is to be re-classed following campaigning by villagers, parish councils and schools.

The A130, which runs through the villages of Barnston and Ford End, has been downgraded to a B road by the Department of Transport and will now be called the B1008.

The change has been implemented to reduce traffic congestion as a result of years of campaigning, says parish clerk for Barnston.

Delyse Jackaman said: "Everyone in the area has been campaigning for what feels like ages because of the amount of traffic including big lorries we get down here.

"We managed to get Essex County Council to file a report to the DfT and we're delighted we've achieved our goal."

Although the changes to the

road name might not herald

instant results, it certainly is

what the campaigners wanted said Mrs Jackaman.

"Hopefully in the longer term after the road is completely re-signed and satellite navigation has been updated we will see a real reduction in traffic on the road and the amount of accidents around Barnston will be significantly reduced," she said.

Lorry drivers who use the connection don't necessarily agree however. Steve Thomas from Witham has been using the road for a number of years and said the only way to stop trucks using the road is to introduce a weight limit.

He said: "I've been running on that road for years now and I have barely seen a pedestrian, let alone go past one with inches to spare. Reclassifying the road won't stop me or anyone else I know.

"The owners of trucks pay thousands upon thousands of pounds in tax per year, I would say that entitles them to run their trucks anywhere they like as long as it's within the law."

Villagers and campaigners for the road change have stated that they want heavy lorries to use the new link, the A131 between Braintree and Chelmsford, instead as it is now dual carriageway in many places.

Mrs Jackaman said: "If lorry drivers did use the alternative route I think they would find it just as quick if not quicker."

Accidents involving lorries on the road are thankfully few and

far between, but senior teacher Mandy Copper from Ford End Primary School, which is situated directly on the road said: "I can remember an accident right outside the school gates not very long ago that proved fatal.

"A lorry going round the bend too fast tipped its load on to the path killing someone.

"It shouldn't take lots of

accidents before someone does something about it, especially so near to a school"

Mrs Copper said the school as

a whole was "chuffed to bits"

with the decision saying that children, teachers and parents already felt safer.

In fact the little primary school was already one step ahead of the Department of Transport as the latest class project involved children making cardboard versions of speed camera's to "zap" traffic on the road just outside the school gates.

Mrs Copper said: "Our class projects seem to tie in quite nicely with this good news."

Cllr Norman Hume, cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: "I am very pleased the DfT has accepted our request for the A130 to be reclassified into a secondary route.

"The A130 has become a much overused rural road in recent years and was never designed to take the kind of traffic which is now using it.

"There is a better alternative in the improved, dual-laned A131.

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