£2.8 million worth of funding for the A18 was secured in a “tragic set of circumstances” but will be key to making the road safe, said the leader of North East Lincolnshire Council.
The authority won the funding from the Department for Transport for the stretch of road between Laceby near Grimsby and Ludborough.
The council lodged a joint bid with Lincolnshire County Council after the road was found to be one of the 50 most high risk ‘A’ roads in the country.
Now, members of the north east authority have approved plans to become responsible for ensuring the works go ahead.
Leader of the council, Ray Oxby, said that he hopes that the improvements will reduce casualties on the A18.
“It was a tragic set of circumstances as a family from the north east sadly died,” he said.
“It touched a lot of members and a lot of officers hearts and our sympathies still go out to the families affected, it was awful for them.
“But out of the phoenix of those sad ashes has come this huge amount of money from government to improve a section of road that is still considered to be unsafe in many areas.”
The measures proposed come after HM Coroner, Mr Paul Kelly, issued a report into preventing future deaths on the A18 following an inquest into the deaths of five members of the Cockburn family in 2013.
Angela, 49, and David Cockburn, 48, their two daughters Carley Ann, 21, and Bethany, 18 and one-year-old granddaughter Lacie from County Durham died when the car they were in hit an oncoming lorry.
Following instructions from the coroner, a number of safety improvements have been drawn up by the council.
- Widening of the carriageway between Laceby roundabout and A18 / Waltham Road junction
- Provision of right turn lanes at the Oaklands Hotel and Golf Club entrances
- Upgrade of the A18/Waltham Road junction
- Localised traffic sign upgrades, road markings and surfacing works between Laceby roundabout and the A18/ B1203 junction
- Reduction of the speed limit to 50mph (to match the current 50mph on the NEL section)
- Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS)
- Installation of traffic islands at the Barton Street junction.
Councillor Matthew Patrick, portfolio holder for transport at the authority, said the funding was “bittersweet” for the council.
“It’s a large sum of money,” he said.
“But if it helps to save just one life then it is worth it.
“Anything that we can do as an authority to improve road safety is welcomed.”
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