Nicola’s campaign for improvement to the A34 continues, and this week Nicola and her fellow Oxfordshire MPs were joined in Parliament by members of the A34 Action Group; representatives from the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP); Thames Valley Police and Highways England for an important meeting to learn more about the new Safety review.
Highways England moved to assure the room that all options were being considered to improve safety on the road, including lay-bys, chevrons and better signage. The Roads Minister John Hayes MP committed to the review recently in Parliament following a crucial debate in the House and increased pressure from Nicola and her colleagues. Obviously it is essential that this review is thorough and has the support of local bodies and the Police.
Nicola also wanted to ensure that commitments already secured, i.e. to key junctions and for the new Traffic Management System, do not fall by the way side as the review is underway. She was assured that existing promises would be honoured, and that Highways England are reviewing technology and signage assessments in light of recent accidents including at Isley. Further still, Thames Valley Police are making full use of Heavy Goods Vehicle cameras provided by Highways England. Representatives were clear that as well as longer term options for the road, problematic junctions, especially surrounding Oxford, must be addressed.
The conversation will of course continue as the Safety Review progresses and Highways England consider their options. It also comes as the National Infrastructure Commission have published their Interim Report, which strongly supports calls for investment on the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway (including the A34) and recommends that Highways work with local authorities to bring improvements forward for the road.
Nicola says: This Safety Review will be essential for the future of the A34; already this month there have been four serious accidents on the road. The National Infrastructure Commission’s interim report now published is clear on the need for a joined up approach with Highways, LEPs and local authorities in working towards a long term strategy. We will continue to work together, pushing for an appropriate timescale for the Safety Review and, crucially, HE have assured us that existing commitments will be honoured while the work is ongoing.