08:00 Friday 10 January 2014

MP takes A38 changes fight to top minister

Written byROB SMYTH

Gap closed on A38 south, opposite Marley Tiles Gap closed on A38 south, opposite Marley Tiles

SHOWDOWN talks between Burton’s MP and the Secretary of Transport are set to take place in a bid to try to push through lifesaving changes to the A38.

Andrew Griffiths confirmed he was seeking ‘urgent’ talks with Patrick McLoughlin in a bid to make sure ‘dangerous’ gaps between Branston and Barton under Needwood remain closed and a new 60mph speed limit be enforced.

The parliamentarian’s bold move comes after the Mail revealed the Highways Agency had halted a scheme that was supposed to start this month, after just three people objected.

Mr Griffiths told the Mail: “These changes are needed and nothing should halt them being put into place.

“I understand the need for objectors to have their views heard, but this is a moment when the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

“With the backing of the police, firefighters, council chiefs and nearly everyone in and around Burton, I am determined that these vital measures will not be scuppered.

“This is why I am seeking an urgent meeting with the Secretary of Transport in a bid to try to get him to help get these measures approved and get work started as soon as we can, so that lives of drivers along the road can be made safer.”

Shock reverberated around the town in December when highways chiefs revealed complaints by three people about the increase in time and cost they would incur as a result of the project saw the scheme shelved until the problem is resolved.

The changes were set to come into force following the deaths of two sisters who had used one of the controversial gaps in 2012.

A campaign was launched, spearheaded by Mr Griffiths, in a bid to ‘save lives’ along the road, and was met with near unanimous approval.

Recently, police revealed the closure of the central reservation gaps had almost certainly saved the lives of a mother and daughter on the A38.

The pair walked away from an almost identical incident to the one in which the sisters lost their lives, and police chiefs said the closed gap had kept them alive.

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