Road Safety Concerns
The existing A494/A55 is a good example of a reasonable compromise that juggles the need for an efficient infrastructure to serve industry, tourism and local needs, with the inevitable cost to our environment and health.

Here you will find news of safety related incidents and statistics, on the A494/A55 roads effected by these proposals, as they are revealed. The expansion of the EU in recent times, has given rise to a huge surge in demand for a cheap and cheerful route to Ireland for juggernaut trucks travelling from Poland and Bulgaria. This creates a new set of problems -and a safety threat which the planners at Transport Wales have chosen to ignore!

Breaking News!

For the first time, a leading North Wales Traffic Chief Spells out a something that local useres of the A494/A55 have long suspected! So why has this risk not been taken into account by Transport Wales when planning to widen our roads to suit the convenience of juggernaut ferry-convoys?

At last we hear about the REAL SAFETY concerns for HGV trucks on A494/A55.
To read full letter, click here!

 

This information was in response to "Freedom Of Information" requests made by me and personal intervention by North Wales Welsh Assembly Members, JANET RYDER and MARK ISHERWOOD.

Thanks folks!    JB

Now YOU can do something about it!

There's now a website,  which, after completing a simple registration, motorists who observe blatant and dangerous driving have an opportunity to log the event in a responsible, way that serves the Public Interest and safety concerns of ALL road-users. Its surprising how often vehicles travelling on the A494/A55 are reported here.

Drivers using drugs to keep awake

Happenings on the A494/A55 roads as reported by Robin Henry Evening Leader August 1 2007


Foreign truck drivers passing through Flintshire are turning to drugs to help them cope with their workload, say police.

The number found to be working dangerously long hours has nearly doubled in the last year, according to figures from a government testing centre in Deeside.

Supt Geraint Anwyl, of North Wales Police, is blaming mainly European-based operators and claims many drivers are being compelled to take drugs to stay awake during their shifts.

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency station in Ewloe also reveals a 62 per cent increase in the number of unroadworthy vehicles recorded.

In a letter to North Wales AM Janet Ryder, Supt Anwyl said: "Operators based in Europe are very difficult to police due to the fact it is the drivers who are normally prosecuted and not the company involved. It is a fact drivers from Eastern Europe are being compelled to work ridiculously long hours by unscrupulous employers.

"It is also the case some of these exhausted drivers are in charge of vehicles which are not roadworthy. Journeys of 20 hours-plus are not uncommon and they are achieved by ingesting supplements such as caffeine, energy drinks and controlled substances. The drivers regularly prepare their meals in and eat as they continue to drive."

During the financial year 2005/2006 VOSA Ewloe checked 887 vehicles, and issued 108 drivers hours prohibitions.

In 2006/2007, it was 769 checks, and 200 prohibitions.

The data has been released by VOSA under the Freedom of Information Act request by campaigners against the A494.

Aston resident and campaigner John Butler said: "I think it is tremendously important. The likelihood of increased risk to all road users should there be any augmentation of the continental HGV fleet should have been properly assessed in the documentation for the Assembly's A494 scheme.

"And why is Transport Wales seeking to close the HGV testing station at Ewloe when that operation is effectively grounding 30-40 per cent of the foreign register HGVs it inspects?"

"Last week I spotted a six-deep convoy of Irish HGVs racing towards Chester on the southerly bypass. One had no number plates of any description."

But Chief Supt Anywl said: "This is not unique to North Wales. The problem is not one caused by engineering and road development, but rather by human influence. The A55 Euroroute continues to be the main arterial link to Eire and we will continue to be proactive in our attempts to safeguard the public. The proposed expansion of Drome Corner has no bearing on this situation.

"The situation is serious, with 10 people a week being killed or critically injured in the UK by large goods vehicles."
"It is a fact that some operators are compelling their drivers to breach driver's hours regulation (usually drivers of East European origin) and that these exhausted drivers are often found driving unroadworthy vehicles. There have been occurences of drivers falling asleep at the wheel and evidence found of journey time exceeding 20 hours. These issues are unrelated to engineering improvements and are directly atrributable to human influence." 

Chief Supt. Geraint Anwyl, North Wales Police  9 July 2007