08:00 Friday 20 December 2013

Brakes put on A38 safety bid

Written byROB SMYTH

THE future of a scheme to improve safety on the A38 has been plunged into jeopardy after THREE people complained about how much extra time and money it would cost them.

The Highways Agency revealed that the trio’s objections had seen plans for major changes between the Branston and Barton junctions placed on hold – just weeks before work was set to begin.

Experts believe the proposed safety measures are vital in helping to save the lives of drivers.

Burton MP Andrew Griffiths (below) said he was ‘disgusted’ at the complainants and said he would do ‘everything in his power’ to make sure that the vital changes would be pushed through.

He said: “I was absolutely gobsmacked when I learned that the actions of three people could mean the scheme could be scuppered.

“I am disgusted that three people are objecting to plans that will save lives due to the fact that there could be a slight increase in their journey time to and from their homes and perhaps a slight rise in the cost of a taxi ride.

“It is a crazy situation when three nimbys could scupper a well supported and much needed improvement scheme. It would be outrageous if the vested interests of these people put a stop to this.

“There are no ifs, no buts and no maybes – this scheme simply has to happen.”

Major changes including the closure of central reservation gaps and a 60mph speed limit were announced last year after a safety review.

Ominder Bharj, from the Highways Agency, said: “I have written to the objectors to stress the importance of this scheme and the safety benefits it will deliver.”

If the objectors do not withdraw their opposition, the scheme could face the axe or moves could be made to ask senior bosses to push the the plans through.

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