Speed limit set to be reduced on A38 near Lichfield

The A38 at Bassetts Pole. Pic: Adrian Bailey

The A38 at Bassetts Pole. Pic: Adrian Bailey

The speed limit is set to be slashed on a stretch of the A38 as part of a £2million road improvement scheme.

The project is aimed at improving safety on the notorious stretch between Weeford and Bassetts Pole which has claimed three lives in as many years. In total 38 accidents have led to injuries in that time period with three people seriously injured.

The improvements will see average speed cameras introduced and a reduction in the limit from 70mph to 60mph – a change being made after average speeds of 80mph were recorded on the road.

A spokesperson for Staffordshire County Council said:

“The A38 is one of the busiest commuter routes in Staffordshire and is used by thousands of motorists every day. It has previously been plagued by accidents which is why it is vital that these potentially life saving measures are put in place.

“Safety is a top priority for the county council and now that we have taken over responsibility of this road from the Highways Agency we are determined to bring it up to the same high standards as other principal roads within our remit.

“I would like to thank people in advance for their patience while this essential road safety and maintenance project is taking place and assure them that the work will be carried out as efficiently and to the highest standards as possible, ensuring the road is fit for purpose for the next 25 years and beyond.”

As part of the work the road will also be resurfaced, new fencing will be put in place, trees will be cut back to increase visibility and drainage improvements will be made.

The upgrade will start on April 25 and is expected to take around 24 weeks to complete. A temporary 30mph speed limit will be in place while the work is carried out.

The road will be reduced from two lanes to one throughout the majority of the work and there will be some overnight closures while the carriageway resurfacing is carried out. Motorists will be diverted via Tamworth and the A5 during the closures.

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19 Comments

  1. Roger Robinson

    19th April, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Seems fair enough. That stretch of dual carriageway has narrow lanes and follows the lay of the land leading to sudden changes in altitude and a twisty road.

    What they really need to do is build a modern replacement road that is straighter with wider lanes maybe even a motorway. Im pretty sure this would help reduce accidents. That is if it were open to all.

  2. Chris Gillie

    22nd April, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Nanny state overeacts as usual! Given the average speed is quoted as 80 MPH surely we only need action to bring speeds down to the prevailing limit, not reducing the limit itself. 70 mph is perefectly adequate but of course it has far less revenue raising potential doesnt it!

  3. Soap Distant

    23rd April, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Sigh. More accusations of ‘nanny state’ and ‘revenue raising’. I’ve never once been flashed by a speed camera and do you know why? Because when I see one, I slow down. Not rocket science is it?

  4. Soap Distant

    23rd April, 2010 at 9:31 am

    On a more related point, it would be nice if the M6 toll people gave a discount for drivers going between T3 and T4.

    The A38 is the main arterial road between Birmingham and Lichfield, and the work’s going to be massively disruptive to commuters who work in Brum.

  5. Andrew Baxter

    23rd April, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    This is a dangerous road in places with a number of concealed entrances to properties as well as the Little Hay slip road which is too narrow.

    However, would it not be a better solution to the problem to encourage more vehicles, especially HGV’s, to use the M6 toll? After all the M6 toll has no concealed exits, is 3 lanes on both sides and would be a much safer alternative!

  6. Securonic

    17th May, 2010 at 10:15 am

    I work in brum nearly every day and can’t say I have seen anything done upto now with regard to starting this supposed work. Everyone is forced to go single lane for no apparent reason so far… Pull yor fingers out guys because the only other route it the m6 which is even worse as the moment.

  7. Frustrated of Lichfield

    27th May, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    As Securonic says, virtually nothing has happened in the whole month that the road’s been reduced to one lane, so why the ridiculous 30 mph limit? The camera warning signs specifically have the word “average” blacked out, and the only fixed cameras are the newly installed average speed cameras which presumably aren’t working yet. Looks like we’ve been conned into driving at 30 mph for no reason – what a waste of time and fuel!

  8. Sympathetic

    27th May, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    ‘Frustrated’ I can understand your frustration as the 30 mph restriction may seem a overkill! That said whilst the road is down to one lane I can understand why it is in place along certain parts of the road. I travel along the A38 north bound every morning and get off at the Little Hay Slip Road. This slip road is narrow and it would be uncomfortable slowing down to 20mph to take this junction whilst knowing that there could be a HGV coming up from beind at a significantly faster speed. There are also a couple of properties just before this slip road which have no slip roads of thier own and must be a bit hairey to enter even with two lanes!
    On the south bound side there are properties with no slip roads, one is just before Camwell Caravans. Driving along at 30 mph has made me notice hazards along this road that I never knew existed when doing 70mph! Have a look yourself next time you go along.

  9. Frustrated of Lichfield

    27th May, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    I appreciate what you say, Sympathetic, but we are trusted to drive at a more realistic 40 mph in residential areas where people suddenly turn into side roads or driveways, so I can’t see why we can’t be trusted with that speed on the A38 – if people who turn off indicate and slow down in good time there shouldn’t be a problem. None of it would be half as frustrating, though, if any real work had taken place in the first MONTH of the restrictions.

  10. Securonic

    27th May, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    thank god they have taken away those cones! does anyone know the new speed limit though??? i think if they have changed it then they should at least advise us with some signs. or if the speed cams are not in use as least indicate so. A lot of people breaking suddenly at the camera not having a clue what speed to go or if they are active. what the hells going on!

  11. Jack Hughes

    28th May, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    This is complete nanny state overkill!
    After plastering the UK with more CCTV cameras than any other country in the world, we are now embarking on the next control scheme – average speed cameras so that Mr Citizen is under state control for every minute of his journey. I seem to remember that one of the things that made living in the UK so pleasant was that we are a tolerant people, at ease with ourselves.
    When did we actually cross the line so that the faceless bureaucrats at Staffordshire County Council are allowed to introduce these Orwellian measures because of one death per year? Is zero deaths from road traffic the accepted target now?

    Are Staffs CC saying that there will be no further accidents once they can monitor every citizen every mile of their journey?

    L:ife is not risk free – let people make their own decisions and judgements and Staffs CC should butt out and spend their speed camera millions on some of their more deserving citizens who could do with additional support.

  12. Tommo

    17th June, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    I cannot see any justification for a 30mph speed limit for such a long section of road at all. The only reason for this is to catch people speeding to make renue. It is pathetic and rediculous that some people fall for this “safety” propaganda. If everybody is travelling in the same direction in a single lane, what could possibly go wrong? 50mph where there are workmen present, fair enough, but 30 mph is a complete and utter farce.

  13. Soap Distant

    17th June, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    This ‘revenue raising’ line has been parroted for years now and it just doesn’t add up. Don’t want to get fined? Don’t break the speed limit. The cameras are quite clearly signposted, so if you get caught, then you’ve only got yourself to blame. People who harp on about how speed cameras are only there to make money just don’t want to take responsibility for their own actions.

  14. Robthedog

    17th June, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Tommo;

    “If everybody is travelling in the same direction in a single lane, what could possibly go wrong?”…. http://cab41.com/161kjak

  15. Chris Gillie

    17th June, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    “This ‘revenue raising’ line has been parroted for years now and it just doesn’t add up. Don’t want to get fined? Don’t break the speed limit. The cameras are quite clearly signposted, so if you get caught, then you’ve only got yourself to blame. People who harp on about how speed cameras are only there to make money just don’t want to take responsibility for their own actions. ”

    The point, which you are clearly missing, is that the limit is unreasonably low, at one time transport provision in this country was about helping busy people get from A to B, it now seems to be focussed on maximum hinderance. I dont accept 30 mph as reasonable and object to this unreasonable restriction to use a road system I have already paid for through the damn nose!

  16. Chris Gillie

    17th June, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    “If everybody is travelling in the same direction in a single lane, what could possibly go wrong?”…. http://cab41.com/161kjak

    utterly irrelevant !thats about people driving at 70mph in the fog

    I havent seen anyone on here advocating that! or are you suggesting on the basis of this video we should all go back to doing 4 mph with a man carrying a red flag in front?

  17. Tommo

    21st June, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Agree with Chris Gillie, the point I was trying to make (perhaps badly!) was that the speed limit along this section is set UNREASONABLY low, and by unreasonably low, (I am a traffic engineer by profession and could provide as much evidence as you wish to spend time sifting through) I cannot see any justifiable reason as to why the limit is set a 30mph, and not 40mph or perhaps even 50mph. At 30mph along a main carriageway, the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (volume 6, section 2, part 6 TD42/95, Table 7/1) states a safe stopping sight (or “Y) distance of 70m, which to put into perspective is 8 white centre line markings ahead. At 40mph this distance increases to 120m (13 white lines) and at 50mph, this distance increases to 160m (18 white lines). These figures are assuming that traffic along the main carriageway would need to stop (which it shouldn’t) and are also based on surveys from around 30 years ago when car brakes were made out of chewing gum. I’m quite confident that at no point along this section of road does forward visibility drop below 120m (I may be wrong?) and also there will be no children crossing the road and therefore I really am trying my best to see past the “revenue raising” line, but I am struggling. Ideally some sort of statement clearly justifying the reason for 30mph as opposed to the usual 40mph or 50mph could shed some light.

  18. Andy

    21st June, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    I regularly use the A38, both to commute, and at various times during the course of the day.As stated by others the road is uneven and at times the lanes narrow,there are also two quarry entrances on both the north and souhtbound carriageways with access across the central reservation,in addition the exit/entrance sliproads are too short and do not allow traffic to synchronise its speed with the mainstrream carriageway.

    That said,there are traffic islands at each end of the proposed speed restrictions so why do we need these breaks in the central reservation at all,why do we need to install thousands of pounds worth of cameras,we could reduce accidents by restricting traffic to one lane near exits/entances and on narrow stretches,chevroning restricted lanes (as on the A4091 dual carriagway) the speed limit could be restricted to 60 MPH on the single carriageways and left at 70 for the twin lane stretches,as per the Highway code (with barriered dual carriageways) Any death on our roads is one too many as far as I am concerned, but we have many tools in our box to reduce accidents, however these do not all include picking the already fleeced motorists pockets once again.If Safety cameras only accrued points, without a fine, would the local authorities be so keen to install and maintain them?? somehow I think not !!!

  19. Tom

    25th January, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Again speeding is blamed for incidents on this stretch of road. It’s when people can’t pick a lane for the M6 or carry on to Shenstone island.  instead of choosing early, the end up swerving into the lane next to them.

    It’s not speeding, it’s lane discipline that people needs fining for!