The Parish Council has been informed that funding has now been released by Northamptonshire County Council to fund a scheme to improve signage/markings on both minor road approaches to the A428 crossroads, in addition to the adjacent bends and will entail the following improvements:
· Supplementary advance junction warning signs to be installed on both minor road approaches to the crossroads.
· Relocate direction signs on the A428 to directly face traffic approaching in Church Lane towards the crossroads. These will provide additional visual clues to the presence of the junction and interrupt the illusion to some motorists that it is a continuous road.
· New “SLOW” road markings placed adjacent to the existing map type advance direction signs on the main A428 will remind motorists to approach the crossroads with caution.
· The introduction of a sequence of ‘rumble strips’ on the south-east bound approach to the bend. Due to the close proximity of a nearby dwelling these will be ‘inaudible’ transverse lines placed across the running lane which create significant optical feedback and prompt greater levels of concentration on the approach to a transition in the road.
· Coloured surfacing/”SLOW” road markings on the north-west bound approach (due to proximity of cottages).
Both schemes will provide an enhanced reminder for inattentive motorists that greater care and attention is required on the approaches of this section of the A428.
As well as the above works there are also proposals to surface dress this section of the A428 to improve the road surface to aid skid resistance. It is hoped that the revision to the signs will be undertaken in February with the rumble strip and road marking works being completed later in the summer following the surface dressing works.
Part of the above works will be to relocate the existing direction signs, on the Brington side of the crossroads, slightly further towards the Brington Road approach to interrupt the illusion to motorists that it is a continuous road. This should also allow us to move the sign slightly further back to ensure it does not restrict visibility for drivers entering the junction from this direction.
The Parish Council asked if flashing signs warning motorist that they are approaching a dangerous crossroads could be installed; the response from the Highways Department was as follows:
There are a couple of sites within the county where electronic crossroads warning signs have been installed on county roads including the A508 at the Pitsford / Chapel Brampton turns. These pick up the presence of traffic waiting / approaching at the side road junctions and indicate to drivers on the main road the possibility of “turning traffic” emerging from the side roads. Although this system can provide effective it is very expensive to install there are not currently any proposals to install this at the East Haddon crossroads. From initial observations it appears to be a problems of vehicles failing to give way on the approaches to the crossroads rather than speeding on the A428, although we are still waiting the outcome of the Police and Coroners report on what contributed to last year’s unfortunate fatal accident.
The Parish Council also asked if changing the give way signs to stop signs was an option; the response from the Highways Department was as follows:
The Department for Transport have strict criteria that a Highway Authority has to comply with before a “Stop” sign / line can be introduced at a junction and each individual site has to be authorised by the Secretary of State for Transport in writing before permission is granted to erect such a sign. The “Stop” marking can only be used where visibility is so restricted, and all other engineering options have been exhausted to improve the view for drivers, that it is essential for drivers to stop before entering the major road. A “Stop” sign will only be respected if drivers can see the need for it and introducing them at locations that didn’t meet the criteria would lead to disrespect of the sign at locations where it is essential for a driver to stop.