Council confirms action to be taken to improve safety of Alderley Edge Bypass

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Following a coroner's call for action to be taken by the local authority to prevent further deaths on the Alderley Edge Bypass, Cheshire East Council has confirmed that they have completed an assessment of the three mile stretch of road and the work they will be carrying out as a result.

As reported on alderleyedge.com on Wednesday, 8th January, Mrs Jean Harkin, Assistant Coroner for Cheshire, issued a Regulation 28: Report to Prevent Future Deaths to Cheshire East Council following an investigation into the deaths of Liyakat Sidat, Salma Sidat, Hajra Sidat on the A34 Melrose Way in November 2018.

Mr Liyakat Sidat, 47, was driving his Toyota Yaris on the A34 Alderley Edge Bypass in the early hours of Sunday, 4th November when he overtook two vehicles on a bend and collided with an oncoming minibus. Mr Liyakat Sidat, his wife, 41, and his daughter, 14, sustained fatal injury.

In her report, Mrs Harkin stated "During the course of the inquest the evidence revealed matters giving rise to concern. In my opinion there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is action."

Amongst the concerns Mrs Harkin raised was that the bend on the A34 Melrose Way, which she said "presents a danger to life", has no continuous white line to prevent overtaking.

Mrs Harkin added "It is dangerous to overtake on that stretch of road witness evidence referred t how dark it was and lives are at risk if overtaking is allowed to continue there.

"In my opinion action should be taken to prevent future deaths and I believe you and/or your organisation have the power to take such action."

A spokesperson for Cheshire East Council, said: "Any road fatality accident is a tragedy. The safety of our road users and residents is of upmost importance to us and we take our regulatory role around road safety provision extremely seriously.

"We always carry out a full and comprehensive assessment following a road fatality in conjunction with the police and put into place any identified mitigating actions, if identified.

"The assessment of the A34 Alderley Edge Bypass (Melrose Way), together with the police, led to the recommendation for the existing hazard centreline marking to be replaced with a hatched hazard centreline marking. This will give a visual carriageway narrowing effect and put greater distance between the two way traffic flow and may heighten driver awareness when considering overtaking manoeuvres.

"This work is planned to be to be undertaken and will be complete by the end of March 2020."

Other coroners have previously issued Regulation 28 Reports to Cheshire East Council but no new measures were implemented.

At the time of publication I am waiting to receive a copy of Cheshire East Council's response to Mrs Harkin's report which must contain details of the action taken or proposed action to be taken, setting out the timetable for action. Otherwise the Council must explain why no action is proposed.

Tags:
A34 Bypass, Melrose Way
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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Nick Jones
Thursday 9th January 2020 at 12:30 pm
How tragic its taken HM Coroner's wisdom and common sense to instigate this.

Why were so many other voices ignored ? Maybe some of these tragedies could have been prevented by earlier intervention.. and that's no consolation to the families concerned.

Following several near misses from oncoming vehicles overtaking, I with many other avoid this stretch of road particularly at night

Double white lines in the middle, reduced limit and speed cameras should be a good start. None of the above reflects well on Cheshire East Highways.
Alan Brough
Thursday 9th January 2020 at 1:30 pm
@ Nick Jones,

Regrettably it takes more than HM Coroner's wisdom and common sense to instigate anything.

"Other coroners have previously issued Regulation 28 Reports to Cheshire East Council but no new measures were implemented."

In building the road CE Council were able to cut a few financial corners. What will be the cost in lives before they are persuaded to take action?
James MacDonald
Thursday 9th January 2020 at 9:53 pm
This stretch of the bypass is only 3 miles, at 60mph it will take you 3 minutes. If you travel at 50mph it will add approx. 30 seconds. Is it worth attempting a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre on a bend, putting your own life at risk, as well as any passengers and other road users? For the sake of a few seconds...? Poor judgement, and the ultimate sacrifice.

Common sense is waiting to overtake when it is safe to do so, but there is a lack of common sense. From the pedestrians that walk everywhere staring at their mobile phones and step into the road without looking, to those that text whilst they drive, safety unfortunately takes a back seat. Most of the time these individuals will escape without incident due to luck or the emergency avoidance of others and therefore they keep taking unnecessary risks.

The highway code already states do not overtake on a bend. You can spend money adding double white lines and it might stop some, but it won't stop all. I see many drivers ignoring existing double white lines to try and save some of those precious seconds, the most valuable currency.
Mark Russell
Saturday 11th January 2020 at 4:11 pm
James, you can overtake when there is double white lines in certain circumstances.
James MacDonald
Saturday 11th January 2020 at 6:46 pm
Mark, true, although the examples I were referring to were all illegal. I cycle at an average of 18mph, but yet every day I am overtaken on double white lines by vehicles, sometimes on blind bends too, yet it is only legal if I am travelling at 10mph or less.

Double white lines where the line nearest you is solid. This means you MUST NOT cross or straddle it unless it is safe and you need to enter adjoining premises or a side road. You may cross the line if necessary, provided the road is clear, to pass a stationary vehicle, or overtake a pedal cycle, horse or road maintenance vehicle, if they are travelling at 10 mph (16 km/h) or less.

Not an overtake but an example of speeding and driving too fast around a bend:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-south-yorkshire-51071012/wrong-lane-driver-broke-biker-s-back-in-high-speed-crash
Hard to believe the motorcyclist survived, the punishment for the driver was pathetic.
Roger Thawley
Monday 13th January 2020 at 9:19 am
This is a road which was conceived as a dual carriageway but was constructed as a single carriageway due to inadequate funding. Instead of calling for speed limit reductions and yet more cameras #SurveilanceSociety, it's time to look at completing the road to original specification.
Jerry Dixon
Monday 13th January 2020 at 1:38 pm
Actually Roger, the original dual carriageway scheme was abandoned. A totally new design was created some years later when it was clear that the budget would only deliver a single carriageway. The low traffic levels on the bypass would suggest that was the correct decision. Why do we need a dual carriageway to stop drivers making crazy overtaking moves? White lines would be a good start....
Nick Jones
Monday 13th January 2020 at 1:54 pm
@ Jerry Dixon.. Concurr.. Or perhaps a Ferrry to cross when its frequently flooded !

Drainage not thought out with this one at all single or dual carriageway !
John Leonard
Monday 13th January 2020 at 2:25 pm
I agree with Roger Thawley's current and previous comments. Ideally people would drive safely but that doesn't always happen and it's not always the bad driver that comes off worse! There will always be deaths here unless the root cause of the problem addressed! I was shocked and scared the first time I drove down the road - nowhere is it really safe to overtake but some drivers clearly get the impression that it is. I also use the cycle lanes, which are great, but we don't really need one on either side, so a making dual carriageway similar to the A555 would surely be possible.
Jon Williams
Monday 13th January 2020 at 2:38 pm
The cycle lane's are shared footpaths so WE DO need them on both sides
Jerry Dixon
Monday 13th January 2020 at 3:34 pm
Be realistic: despite these tragic deaths, turning this stretch of road into a dual carriageway is simply not going to happen, so there is little point in demanding it on this website.
Fiona Doorbar
Monday 13th January 2020 at 4:44 pm
Concrete central reservation as on new stretch of A34 from Bramhall to High Lane
Simon Rodrigues
Wednesday 15th January 2020 at 5:02 pm
So happy to hear this news can we stop tractors using this road its not like you see a tractor on the motorway is it and the speed limit of 60 isn't exactly tractor speed they can use the old road.
Jon Williams
Wednesday 15th January 2020 at 7:40 pm
Why should you stop tractors using a short 3 mile piece of road (not that they will), they don't all go at 20 mph you know and after all, this is why it was built - to by-pass Alderley Edge.
John Leonard
Thursday 16th January 2020 at 6:07 pm
Jon Williams - The single cycle lane on the A555 is also a shared footpath. I am a keen cyclist and use these paths several time a week - there really is no difference between riding or walking the A555 path and the 'dual' A34 paths. However, there is a fundamental safety issue with this road which can't be solved by asking people to behave differently. It's intolerable that the flawed design of the road is killing people - if it were a factory the HSE would have closed it down.
John Leonard
Thursday 16th January 2020 at 7:02 pm
Jon Williams - The single cycle lane on the A555 is also a shared footpath. I am a keen cyclist and use these paths several time a week - there really is no difference between riding or walking the A555 path and the 'dual' A34 paths. However, there is a fundamental safety issue with this road which can't be solved by asking people to behave differently. It's intolerable that the flawed design of the road is killing people - if it were a factory the HSE would have closed it down.

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