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Screens trial on A55 in bid to stop rubbernecking; Three-year experiment in fight to cut crashes.

Byline: RACHEL FLINT Welsh Affairs Correspondent rachel.flint@trinitymirror.com

SCREENS will be put up around crashes on the A55 to stop curious motorists risking lives to stare at accidents.

Calls have been made for the partitions to be used on the dual carriageway to stop rubbernecking. Figures show around 1.3 collisions a day took place on trunk roads across north and mid Wales last year, including the A55 and the A494.

Now the Welsh Government have confirmed the screens will be used on the A55 for a trial period of up to three years.

Loaned from Highways England, the screens have already been trialled on the M4 toll gates in South Wales.

The Welsh Ambulance Service previously said the screens could stop more collisions.

Road safety charity Brake said: "So called 'rubbernecking' is a serious issue as drivers pass crash sites. We look forward to reading any evaluation from this exercise as to whether collisions have been reduced."

The Welsh Government's commitment comes after the Assembly's Public Accounts committee report on how Ministers manage trunk roads.

Screens on the A55 are one of 18 recommendations set out in the report, due to be discussed by the committee at their first meeting of this term today.

A Government response to the recommendation reads: "Officials envisage the trial to be three years such that sufficient data can be gathered in terms of the number of times the screens have been deployed. A report will be sent back to the committee at the end of each financial year."

This measure, alongside other recommendations including introducing a single agency to manage all trunk roads in Wales, are all up for discussion at today's meeting.

The news comes after Clwyd West MP James Davies called for a 30 minute debate on the A55 to be held in the Commons, despite the road being the responsibility of the Welsh Government.

GRAN HURT IN SMASH THAT KILLED HER HUSBAND IS DISCHARGED FROM HOSPITAL A GREAT-GRAN who was airlifted to hospital after a crash on the A55 that killed her husband is now recovering at home.

Iris Rosemary Owen, 80, was taken to Aintree Hospital, Liverpool after the three-vehicle collision near Broughton on September 4. Her husband, William Owen, 81 - known as Doug - died at the scene.

It's believed the couple, who had that week celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary, had broken down on the hard shoulder of the westbound carriageway between J38 Posthouse Roundabout and J36a when the crash happened.

A 46-year-old HGV driver from Holywell was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and has since been released on police bail.

Police confirmed that Mrs Owen, from Mold, who has four children, eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren, has been discharged and is now recovering at home with family.

Officers are still appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the collision to get in touch.

CAPTION(S):

William | Owen, 81, died the crash. His wife Iris, 80, is now recovering at home

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Sep 15, 2015
Words:500
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