Town council push to relieve crossroad chaos

Lorry crash on Burnham Road, Epworth.
Lorry crash on Burnham Road, Epworth.

Ways of easing townsfolk’s fears over the controversial A161 crossroads in Epworth are still under discussion.

At this month’s Epworth Town Council meeting it was agreed that North Lincolnshire Council officers should be asked to visit the site at either morning or evening peak times.

A number of options were voiced by town councillors, on what could be done to improve the safety aspect of the lights, for residents, pedestrians and motorists.

The increased number and size of heavy goods vehicles using the route through Epworth is the nub of the issue, and two have crashed in to properties at the junction in recent months.

But speeding cars add to the problems and a one-way system, speed restrictions, a weight ban on HGVs and improved footpaths are all among proposals to help improve the situation.

It was noted by several councillors that a ban on HGVs through Belton has proved successful.

Coun Ros Whittaker said: “The size of vehicles using the route through Epworth has increased over years and is affecting other roads too, such as Hollingsworth Lane.”

Coun Jonathan Whittaker thought Tottermire Lane could be considered as an alternative route, straddling the A161 and High Street. But Coun Don Stewart said it is a minor road and he would register protest at any such proposal.

The most recent incident, when a lorry ploughed in to a High Street-Burnham Road corner home after failing to negotiate the bend in July, terrified the occupants, Katherine Dyson and her 19-year old daughter Lauren.

The collision was by a local lorry, said Coun Bob Fish, who added: “He probably chose the route to be quicker. All Sandtoft lorries should be asked to use the A161 without touching Epworth. They are mostly regular drivers.”

Coun Liz Redfern suggested writing to North Lincolnshire Council to request a meeting and “get a solution.” This was agreed.

Coun Nigel Sherwood, North Lincolnshire’s cabinet member for highways, said: “We have been working closely with MP Andrew Percy and councillors Liz Redfern and David Robinson who have been expressing residents’ concerns about incidents at the traffic lights. We have a site meeting planned in late November and will be assessing the impact that HGVs continue to make on the junction.”