I have had five onsite Somerset Highways meetings in and around Evercreech, since being elected (May 2022).
Mendip South communities in Evercreech and surrounding areas, including Stoney Stratton, Ditcheat and Alhampton have been very concerned about recent traffic incidents, including fatalities, on the A371 (including by the Bath and West entrances, Leighton Lane, Pecking Mill corner and beyond).
I have also been liaising with the Police to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities around road safety.
Following local people’s concerns. and my discussions with Somerset Highways, both the Police and Somerset County Council are now monitoring the roads by gathering data, using speed monitoring rings.
They are looking to see if there is evidence to support extending speed restrictions and to understand how the road is currently being used. The data is being captured until around January 20th.
My hope is that speed restrictions will be lowered and extended further along the A361 to help make the road safer. I have to leave this to their determination (Police and Somerset Highways) of course, based on the evidence.
I’ve met and spoken with local residents to gather insights and information to support the Police and Highways Officers. I am keeping Evercreech Parish Council up-to-date with developments, attending Parish Council meetings and updating via my usual County Council report.
The Police have told me:
“I will be gathering speed data over the next few weeks, we will analyse all the collisions along with Somerset County Council and have a better understanding of what can be done.
After two decades on Roads Policing investigating serious and fatal collisions, I would urge the community to not jump to conclusions as to how these collisions are caused. Very often we get jumped on due to speed, speed is a primary cause of injury type. An ingredient to the causation in some circumstances, but often not the primary cause. So we must do our homework first and see if we have a particular issue. What you can do for me is channel the community thoughts through me, via yourself to give us a better overall picture.”