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Letter to the Editor: making the A46 at Salmon Springs safer

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Dear Editor,

I am a business owner at Salmon Springs Trading Estate and write to you concerning the stretch of A46 (Painswick Road) between the entrance to Salmon Springs Trading Estate and the Beeches Green/Stratford Road Roundabout.

For many years I have been thinking about how unsafe this particular stretch of road is, particularly the blind corner as you head past the Malthouse towards Stroud and, as a result of the terrible incident on 11th October where a woman was struck by a vehicle, it is now clear that immediate action must be taken to make this stretch of road safer.

Below I will outline some information and examples as to why this stretch of road is considered unsafe for drivers and pedestrians, and also outline my action recommendations.

In my time here at Salmon Springs (about eight years) we have had at least two drivers, lose control of their vehicles and end up crashing off the road and through the wall – landing on top of some of our storage areas at the back of one of our units. On both occasions, the cars were heading towards Painswick on the uphill, right-hand bend section just after the bus stops by Stratford Park. And on both times causing considerable damage to their vehicles and our property, however somehow narrowly avoiding taking anyone else out with them.

Alongside that, many people cross the road at the bottom of Salmon Springs (between Salmon Springs and Stratford Park) to either come to work here on the estate, visit the Malthouse, or very often to collect parcels from the Royal Mail sorting office.

This area, commonly used for crossing, is exceptionally dangerous as it is on a blind corner, and cars travel very quickly around there. At night, and during winter time, it is also incredibly dark, providing little visibility for pedestrians to cross and therefore vehicles to see them. Every time I cross here on a dark evening, I turn my phone torch on and point it in the direction of oncoming traffic – one should not have to do that. It can also sometimes take as long as 15 minutes to wait for a gap in traffic.

In addition, there are bus stops on either side of the road in this section. If you are heading from Painswick toward Stroud on that blind corner you cannot see if the traffic around that corner is stationary – either in rush hour traffic or because a bus has stopped there. You can only see once you are around the corner and, at 40mph, there’s no question that a “rear-ended” accident is inevitable.

Salmon Springs is used by many people on a daily basis and, with a strong push towards driving less, is undoubtedly seeing increased footfall. Combined with what appears to be a huge increase of traffic in recent years heading in and out of Stroud on a daily basis, and at speed, it is now evident that this stretch of road, in its current form, is no longer safe. Therefore, I outline below actions that should be taken to immediately improve the safety of it.

1) Immediately reduce the speed limit from 40, to 30 mph.  This should be done from the entrance to Salmon Springs trading estate (or just before), all the way up to the Stratford Road Roundabout – in both directions. There is absolutely no need for this stretch to be 40mph, and it will also help with making turning into, and out of, the trading estate safer.

2) Immediately Install pedestrian “warning” signs. These should be placed approaching the entrance to Salmon Springs heading towards Stroud from Painswick direction, and just before the bus stop on the left, by Stratford Park, heading towards Painswick direction. This will make drivers aware that there are likely to be pedestrians further down the road, trying to cross

3) Immediately install street lighting on both sides of the road. This should be on the pavement at the bottom of Salmon Springs by the crossing area across to Stratford park. There is currently no lighting here making crossing this road at night tremendously dangerous.

4) Install a pedestrian crossing at the bottom of Salmon Springs across to the Stratford Park entrance (large metal gate). This area attracts much footfall of people crossing over the road to go into and out of Salmon Springs. There is no doubt that a pedestrian crossing, ideally in the form of a pelican crossing to physically stop traffic, is the best for pedestrians. However, with it being on a blind corner may cause danger for cars coming round the corner towards Stroud. In this case, adequate signage should be installed, or the crossing placed further up on the straight bit of road by the entrance to Salmon Springs.

This would be in addition to making the bottom crossing area safer by putting raised pavement areas there, along with metal railings and signage. 

I believe that actioning these four recommendations will make that stretch of road infinitely safer.

James Horwood
Owner, Kitchen Garden Foods LTD

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