A360 Black Dog Crossroads crashes spark safety trial

Wiltshire Council says concern over the A360 Black Dog Crossroads, near West Lavington, has been growing amidst an increase in reported collisions.

It has been the subject of fierce debate for many years and was named the seventh most dangerous junction in the county in 2020.

Earlier this month, Cllr Dominic Muns, the cabinet member for waste and environment and representative for the Lavingtons, suggested the spur road to the north of the junction could be closed to prevent further incidents.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: A crash at Black Dog Crossroads last AugustA crash at Black Dog Crossroads last August (Image: Kimberley Brown)

Now the council has confirmed it will be trialling an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) to put the closure of this C20 spur road into action.

During this trial, a barrier will be installed to prevent cars from using the route, alongside signage warning drivers.

The council says the spur road currently causes “safety concerns” as it is a narrow road, with poor visibility, frequently used by drivers avoiding peak times queues at the main junction.

Cllr Nick Holder, cabinet member for highways, said the ETRO is the “first step” in making the junction safer.

The council also plans to realign the crossroads in 2025, following the completion of the necessary land purchases.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: A crash at the Black Dog Crossroads in December 2023A crash at the Black Dog Crossroads in December 2023 (Image: Michael Maxwell)

The alterations to Black Dog Crossroads have been a controversial subject locally.

Last year Wiltshire mother Kimberley Brown called for change after a crash wrote off her car and left her scared to drive in the area and many residents have also called for traffic lights to be installed.

She previously said: ““We were lucky to walk away with our lives intact but psychologically I haven’t wanted to drive since.

“I’ve got into a car and had panic attacks three or four times so I’m finding it really difficult and as a passenger I freak out when cars come the other way.”

In April this year footage was released that shows a “dramatic” crash between a tractor and a van. The van can be seen attempting to pull out onto the A360 before being struck by a tractor.

SEE ALSO: More Black Dog Crossroads crashes reignite traffic light calls[2]

Road safety campaigner Michael Maxwell previously told this paper that traffic lights are the only measure that would effectively slow vehicles and improve safety.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The moment a tractor crashes into a van on the A360The moment a tractor crashes into a van on the A360 (Image: Contributed)

Cllr Holder added: “Following an increase in traffic collisions at this junction, along with raised concerns from local people, we have decided to move forward with an experimental order to allow us to determine its impact, particularly on the surrounding road network.

“Currently, this is the most appropriate way to increase safety on this stretch of road, however, we will be listening to feedback from locals and motorists to determine whether this temporary change reduces risk at the junction, and ultimately reports of road collisions.

“If this trial is successful, the road closure could be made permanent.

“This is just one part of our plans to make this section of road safer, as we’re also looking to realign and improve visibility at the Black Dog crossroads junction to the south of this road in 2025.”

The trial scheme will be used to determine if closing the road reduces crashes and has an impact on the surrounding traffic network.

It will run for a maximum of 18 months while the effects are monitored and there will be a public consultation during the first six months.

Comments will then be reviewed ahead of a decision on whether to make the closure permanent.

An exemption will be made for vehicles accessing the adjacent fields.


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