Barriers putting people in danger?

BARRIERS installed alongside one of Saddleworth’s major routes could actually be putting pedestrians in danger, it has been claimed.

Oldham Council put in the protective equipment along the A670 Standedge Road on the hills above Diggle.

But at one end the verge is so narrow that walkers have to enter the carriageway to get around it, according to one concerned resident.

The man, who did not wish to be named, said: “People are having to walk in the middle of the road.

Standedge Road barriers. Photos by Gemma Carter

“And it’s a road where cars can go very fast. There have been problems of cars roaring down the hill for years.

“However, this appears to actually send people into the road – the barriers are in the middle of where people would walk!”

His worries and those of another local woman have been taken up by Saddleworth Parish Councillor Luke Lancaster. He has written to Oldham Council, saying: “The resident’s concerns are that, due to the positioning of the barrier, she believes she will no longer be able to use the grass verge/path and will have to walk in the road, which of course poses safety issues. “

The barrier scheme is believed to have been part of a bigger project funded by the Department for Transport lasting almost 10 kilometres along the route of the A670 straddling both Oldham and Tameside.

In a funding application document, seen by the Saddleworth Independent, the authorities spell out their case.

It has been claimed the barriers could be putting pedestrians in danger. Photo by Gemma Carter

It states: “The bid proposals are intended to deliver a series of measures targeted at reducing the number and severity of injury collisions taking place along a section of the A670 identified by the Road Safety Foundation.

“Where appropriate, our interventions will take the form of bespoke countermeasures intended to benefit vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists.

“The area is situated along a section of the A670 corridor that extends from Mossley (Tameside) up to its junction with the A62 in Saddleworth (Oldham).

“We anticipate the overall impact of this project on several of the protected groups, including disabled people, non-motorised road users, including those with a sensory disability, those in wheelchairs and those with prams and pushchairs, will be positive.”

The A670, which runs into Uppermill centre then through Grasscroft into Mossley, has seen several safety measures in recent years but in the document, it is admitted they have had little effect on the number of serious collisions, described as KSIs.

It adds: “Historically the ‘all injury’ collision record has improved significantly since 1999. However a KSI rate of 1.5 collisions per year is still evident over a similar period (Oldham section).

“The route locations and surrounding villages attracts a significant amount of leisure visitors. A key highlight of the KSI data since 1999 includes 46 per cent of the collisions recorded in the Uppermill area involving pedestrians, higher than the current borough average of 38 per cent.

“The proposals are a combination of interventions to address a) existing road safety issues that are evident along the A670 route resulting in injury collision, damage only crashes or near misses and b) the outcome to the Safer Road Investment Plan assessment carried out by the Road Safety Foundation.”

These new barriers are designed so that if a driver loses control of their vehicle they will absorb some of the impact. Photo by Gemma Carter

Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Culture, said:

“We want drivers and pedestrians to feel safe when using our roads.“Our teams are constantly looking at how we can improve safety and that’s why we’ve installed the barriers on Standedge Road.

“This is a very steep section of road and vehicles travel down in at speed.

“These new barriers are designed so that if a driver loses control of their vehicle they will absorb some of the impact and deflect it back into the road, hopefully mitigating the severity of any collision.

“The footways have been kept open and the barriers arguably give better protection to people using them.”


9 Replies to “Barriers putting people in danger?”

  1. Looking at the above pictures it seems like the Barrier as been sited in the centre off the path, where as it should have been sited on the road side edge of the path along save pram access from traffic

  2. This seems like a totally missed opportunity to improve safety of pedestrians at same time as “careless” car drivers.

    As a car driver, l am dismayed to think l will now have pedestrians, prams etc in the road.

    If it was on kerb pedestrians protected, if against fence at least pedestrians wouldn’t need to be in road.

  3. That is a cock up of the first order, either by the council or the workers involved. Either it should be at the edge of the road to protect pedestrians or the inside of the footpath to stop cars going over the edge. I know I’m not an expert but I do have 40 years experience as a HGV driver and that blunt end of the barrier is just asking for a head on crash at speed.

  4. Forcing pedestrians into the road is madness.
    It’s an ugly eye sore in our countryside – the sun reflecting off it will probably cause more collisions.
    The speed limit needs to be reduced on this road to help reduce the number of accidents. A barrier is not going to stop idiots, who drive too fast , from causing accidents.

  5. This looks as though it’s been installed in the wrong place to me. Surely it should have been installed on the edge of the pavement?
    There is no way pedestrians should have to go into the road and no way a pram could fit through.
    It seems madness to think the position of the barrier is acceptable, surely it needs to be redone correctly for the safety of all using the road.

  6. What a total waste of money! It’s on a very straight section of road which doesn’t need anything down the side if a driver ‘loses control’. How can anyone possibly ‘lose control on a straight section of road? In my youth I’ve travelled down there at very high speeds (sorry!) and never once felt like I was ‘losing control’. I’m not aware of any accidents on this section of road in the last 40 years! Have some brown envelopes changed hands?

  7. Speaking as a Construction Manager, Chartered Engineer and a qualified IOSH Managing Safely practitioner it’s quite clear to me that this has been done without any occupational risk assessment or a HAZID ( hazard identification) being carried out ( or if it has its been done very poorly). The barrier is simply in the wrong place . It should be on the road edge , on the white line thus allowing TVCB (traffic control barrier) functionality and protection of pedestrians at the same time. It needs to be moved, and if not , The contractor, designer ( ref the responsibility of the designer under CDM regulations) and the client would all be held criminally responsible in the case of any injury. Ignorance or error is not a defence.

    1. Yes! That threat should concentrate the minds and actions of those incompetent planning engineers ,to actually put the situation right ASP .

  8. All of the above. I’m a regular pedestrian on this road and it’s almost like someone has wilfully installed the barrier in the most ridiculous and dangerous place. I defy anyone from Oldham Council to walk down that road and not immediately call for it to be removed. It’s an absolute joke, someone will get killed there

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