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Safety measure for busy routes

By This is Somerset  |  Posted: May 30, 2009

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A package of measures to improve the safety of a busy route across Somerset will be revealed at a public exhibition next Thursday.

The A39 between the Piper's Inn at Ashcott and Puriton, just north of Bridgwater, is the latest stretch of road to be included in the county's on-going Red Routes programme.

This initiative uses a mix of engineering and education to reduce crashes and casualties on the county's main roads.

Details of the proposals will be on show in the village hall at Edington on Thursday, from 3pm to 7pm.

Visitors to the exhibition will have the chance to discuss the plans with Somerset County Council highways engineers and road safety officers.

Terry Beale, of the Somerset Road Safety Partnership, said: "We hope as many people as possible will come along so we can explain what we are trying to do and they can give us their views on what they see as the problems on this section of the A39."

Several major roads, including the A37, A38 and sections of the A39 and A358, west of Bridgwater and Taunton, have already been included in the Red Routes initiative to make the county's roads safer for all users.

The range of engineering and education measures has been successful in reducing casualties in many areas.

The number of deaths on Somerset's roads fell last year to the lowest level for more than thee decades and there was also a reduction in the number of serious injuries.

"I believe that the Red Routes programme has been a significant factor in reducing in deaths and injuries on the county's roads," said Mr Beale.

As part of the programme, temporary information signs are installed along Red Routes, giving casualty information data and reminding drivers to take care.

Each route has its own leaflet highlighting where collisions occur, why they happen and giving information and advice to drivers.

An important element of the Red Routes programme is driver education, with workshops being held in local communities to give road users an opportunity to update their knowledge of current legislation and safety issues.

Planned improvements to the remaining stretch of the A39 – from Glastonbury through to its junction with the A37 near Shepton Mallet – will go on show at an exhibition later in the summer.

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