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Screen blocking drivers' view reduces speeds at crash blackspot in Little Marlow
A SCREEN blocking drivers' view as they approach an accident blackspot has actually helped reduce speeds, transport bosses say.
The green walls, costing £14,000, were installed earlier this year along Little Marlow Road as it reaches the A4155 roundabout.
There were 14 crashes which caused injuries between 2008 and 2011 at the site.
Nearby, an elderly woman was killed as she walked on the path past the roundabout last year.
The idea of reducing visibility on the east side of the roundabout at the junction with the A404 may initially sound like it might not be safe.
Yet studies at the Little Marlow location have shown the six feet tall screens have cut the average speed by 4mph.
Peter Chapman, collision investigator for Transport for Buckinghamshire, said: “This reduction in speed would give a motorist more time to react to others and may reduce the severity of any collision, should one occur.
“Generally a higher impact speed results in more severe injuries.”
A more significant statistic, he said, was that the daily number of drivers going over 50mph has been slashed by half.
He said: “In addition to increasing reaction time and reducing injury severity, also reduces the risk of drivers losing control when approaching and negotiating the roundabout.”
TfB, working on behalf of Buckinghamshire County Council, identified the spot as a priority after anaylysing accident figures.
The screens, which creator Mobilane says are also environmentally sound, cost £14,000.
Mr Chapman explained the average cost of preventing crashes casuing injuries is £68,000.
“Therefore £14k shows an excellent rate of return if it prevents just one of these collisions,” he said.
He added while it was too early to give a definitive conclusion about the screens he has been encouraged so far and they may in future be considered for use elswhere.
There were no reported collisions between January and June.
The green screens comprise a biodegradable pot which holds a wire mesh 'fence' onto which vegetation, usually ivy, is grown.
Sean Farrell, Director of Mobilane, said: “It is gratifying to see our green screen concept being more widely adopted as a solution to real life problems such as traffic safety, whilst adding all the environmental benefits that are missing from traditional methods such as walls and fences.”
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