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Six crashes at 'dangerous' junction since safety measures introduced

By Leatherhead Advertiser  |  Posted: February 07, 2012

  • A crash on Reigate Hill on October 3 last year

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A "DANGEROUS" junction has been the site of six crashes since measures to make it safer were introduced one month ago.

Wooden panels to restrict drivers' sightlines on the approach to the junction of Wray Lane and Reigate Hill/A217, Reigate, went up in early January.

Since then there have been at least six crashes, accounting for more than a third of collisions there in the past year.

Motorist Malcolm Dickey, who uses the junction each day, said the move had caused "horrendous visibility problems".

"If you are coming from Wray Lane or Gatton Bottom, particularly if you want to turn right towards the M25, the fencing panels have turned it almost into a blind junction," he said.

"People coming out there get a glimpse of the road, then their view is blocked by the fencing. What tends to happen is that people continue to move forward, and suddenly they are T-boned by somebody coming along to go down the hill.

"For people coming along the main road, they are suddenly presented with someone coming out from nowhere. I have seen some heavy crashes there, at least three in the past few weeks.

"It is dangerous. As a driver your sightlines are shot."

Police figures show there have been at least 16 crashes at the blackspot in the past year, ten of which have left people injured.

Reigate and Banstead neighbourhood inspector Richard Haycock said: "The road layout there is challenging for drivers, you have to have your wits about you."

A Surrey County Council spokeswoman said: "This site has a record of drivers turning right out of Wray Lane onto the A217 colliding with southbound A217 drivers. Previous initiatives to reduce this have not had the impact we hoped for.

"The panels were erected in early January to stop drivers in Wray Lane judging too early whether it is safe to pull out onto the A217 and consequently misjudging the speed of southbound drivers.

"They now need to be at the 'give way' line before they can view traffic approaching. The scheme has the support of Surrey Police."

The spokeswoman said traffic had "not been typical" recently because of the Reigate Hill footbridge works.

She added: "Now that those works are complete and things are back to normal, we will be able to monitor the efficacy of the panels."

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  • rtweed  |  February 07 2012, 9:58AM

    I couldn't believe the ridiculousness of it when those panels went up - some road researcher's bright idea no doubt. They turn a dangerous junction into a lethal one. The obvious solution is to change that junction into a roundabout and have done with it.

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