Newcastle’s MP calls for road safety review following tragic road accident at Betley

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22 Feb 2019

Newcastle’s MP, Paul Farrelly, has called for an urgent review of road safety on the A531 road through Betley following a tragic accident in which a young rap artist died on his way to a performance at the Keele University Students’ Union.

The 28-year-old musician, Blaine Johnson, - who was known as Cadet – was killed when the Toyota Prius he was travelling in crashed with a van in Main Road in the early hours of February 9th.  Three passengers in the car were also injured and the drivers of both vehicles suffered serious injuries.

It happened on a stretch of road where local residents have long been calling for safety to be improved with the introduction of lower speed limits.

Now Mr Farrelly has written to Staffordshire County Council and the County’s Commissioner for Police and Fire, Matthew Ellis, asking for an urgent investigation to be carried out.

In his letter Mr Farrelly said that motorists routinely ignored the 30 mph speed limit on Main Road which they use as a rat-run on their way to the M6 motorway.

“The exact cause of the most recent accident is yet to be determined but, even at this early stage, its significance has not been lost on residents who regard the need for traffic calming as long overdue,” said Mr Farrelly.

An assurance was needed, he said, that the Council and Police would work closely with local Parish councillors to explore ways of improving safety  through the village “as a matter of urgency.”

Members of Betley, Balterly and Wrinehill Parish Council have echoed Mr Farrelly’s calls for action. They want road signage to be reviewed with more signs advising drivers to slow down from 40mph to 30mph and possibly speed cameras.

The Parish Council already operates a successful Speed Watch campaign which it plans to expand and has even offered to raise funds to meet some of the costs involved in providing additional safety measures.

“There have been other serious incidents along this stretch of road before the latest tragic accident and the local community is already taking active steps to make the road safer. The County Council and the Police must now act too,” Mr Farrelly added.