Transport chiefs give their backing for our Safe A19 campaign

Northbound traffic at a standstill on the A19.
Northbound traffic at a standstill on the A19.

Council chiefs have given their support to the Gazette’s campaign for an inquiry into safety on the A19.

Our campaign is pressing the Department for Transport to listen to the voice of the North East and launch an inquiry into safety on the A19 over the number the collisions which put lives at risk and bring us to a halt all too often.

Last year alone, there were more than 70 people injured in crashes on the stretch between Boldon and Wolviston alone.

So far more than 700 people have signed the petition and have made a range of comments supporting the cause.

Now Councillor Allan West, lead member for housing and transport at South Tyneside Council, has said: “We take the safety of our residents and visitors very seriously.

“Road safety is something that we have a shared responsibility for - not only in terms of the infrastructure of a highway but also in our habits as road users.

“We support the Gazette in their efforts to try and make the A19 safer.

“As a main key strategic corridor for the region the A19 is often very busy and sadly accidents can occur.

“Once we know the results of any inquiry we will work together with partner organisations in a bid to bring forward any recommendations.

“Highways England has already announced improvements at the Testo’s junction to improve both safety and provide a more free-following road network.”

The campaign has been welcomed by Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn and a string of other North East MPs.

Figures of fatal, serious and slight injury accidents during 2016 are still being calculated and confirmed, but initial statistics show that between the Wolviston interchange and Testo’s Roundabout at Boldon, there have been around 36 collisions involving 88 vehicles, causing 71 injuries, with six of those smashes classed as serious.

Figures for the year before there were three deaths on the road, 41 serious crashes and 275 slight, with six of the serious collisions on the section between Boldon and Seaham.

Statistics going back to 2011 show there are about 300 collisions along the full stretch of the A19 each year.

The inquiry has been proposed by Easington MP Grahame Morris.

Mr Morris also called on people to tweet the department – @transportgovuk – calling for action and urges others to follow using the hashtags #A19 #RoadSafety #InvestInTheNorth and.

We have also launched a petition via Change.org to gather support for the campaign. Our petition can be signed via: http://bit.ly/2fuEZ20