Lack of activity to lower accident rate on dangerous stretch of A1 is unacceptable, says Grantham MP
Firstly, let me begin by wishing everybody a Happy New Year, says Grantham MP Gareth Davies. The year has begun just as last year ended, with great pace and with lots going on in Parliament as we continue to tackle the virus, face down increasing Russian aggression, and work towards rebuilding our economy.
In Parliament this week, I spoke in a debate on the safety of the A1 to highlight many of the challenges we face in using a road which is so often closed due to preventable accidents. The period between 2015 and mid-2021 saw 290 accidents on the road with 68 being either severe or fatal, a rate far higher than the national average for an A-road. As a critical artery both locally, and nationally the present lack of activity to lower this accident rate is unacceptable.
I repeated my calls for a review of the crossovers and lengthening the slips roads as, while the government provides over £27 billion of funding for our motorways and A-roads, this can be difficult to access due to the internal bureaucracy of National Highways, the organisation ultimately responsible for the maintenance of our highways.
Trudy Harrison MP, minister at the Department for Transport highlighted that a number of safety schemes are currently in the planning stages including at the junctions by Colsterworth and Little Ponton.
This is welcome news and I hope that this is just the start of delivering long-overdue measures to make the A1 a safer route for us all.
Here locally, I was pleased to hear that safety remains the watchword of Lincolnshire Police in their efforts to combat hare coursing, a barbaric act of animal cruelty which is so often tied up with gang related activity and other rural crimes. The dispersal order put in place as part of Operation Galileo is one of a range of measures in place, including the seizure of any vehicles or dogs that have been found to be used in coursing.
Serious penalties will also be introduced to combat this, and other forms of rural crime as part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Bill which is approaching its final stages in Parliament.
Coursers now face an unlimited fine as well as the possibility of six months imprisonment and I am looking forward to supporting the progress of this important legislation in the coming months.
Finally, following the major incident at Grantham Hospital this week, I have been in communication with Andrew Morgan, the CEO of the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust.
I am grateful for the hard work of everybody at the hospital to ensure that minimal disruption was caused following accidental damage to a water pipe and that emergency medical services are now fully operational once again.