Vow to keep up pressure and make A19 a safer route

Traffic on the northbound A19 backed-up due to a accident on the approach to Testo's Roundabout.
Traffic on the northbound A19 backed-up due to a accident on the approach to Testo's Roundabout.

A North East MP has vowed to keep up pressure on the Government to take action to make the A19 safer.

Stephen Hepburn wants to see safety on the major route improved along its section through the North East.

Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn.

Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn.

He joins Labour colleague, Easington MP Grahame Morris, in calling for the Government to carry out a review into the road in a bit to cut the risks to life and limb.

Mr Hepburn pressed Government chiefs if they will undertake such a study.

It is also backed by our Safe A19 appeal, which has attracted more than 2,000 signatures.

In reply, Transport Minister Jesse Normal told him: “Safety is a key priority for Highways England and it keeps the safety of its roads is under continuous review.

Our campaign logo.

Our campaign logo.

“Since 2011, safety improvements have been delivered at several locations on the A19, involving improvements to traffic signals and road markings, provision of additional road capacity to reduce congestion, and improved facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.

“The Road Investment Strategy for 2015-2020, announced three schemes for delivery on the A19.

“These are projected to save at least 380 casualties over a 60-year period.

“In 2017, the Department for Transport announced a scheme to install signals at the junction of A19 and A179 at Sheraton, in order to address an important local congestion and safety issue.”

The Minister also told Mr Hepburn the figures for the number of collisions on the A19 road in the North East in 2017 “will be published later this year”, after he asked why he had only provided the 2016 figures when previously asked in March.

Mr Hepburn, MP for Jarrow, said: “I am proud to continuing to press the Government to review road safety on the A19.

“It still seems that there is an abnormally high number of incidents on the stretch of the road that runs through the North East.

“While it is disappointing that the Minister did not commit to specifically reviewing road safety on the A19, I’m confident that if we keep up the pressure, the Government will look into why there are so many incidents and what can be done about it.”

“They must take action now so that more injuries and fatalities are prevented.”

Our Safe A19 petition, which is urging the Government to carry out a safety inquiry into the route, can be signed via https://goo.gl/oQYUV8.