Daughter of Redbourn Road fatal crash victim demands safety measures

PUBLISHED: 09:54 14 November 2019

Whitney Elizabeth Hughes with her mum, Gillian Williams, who died on Redbourn Road in a traffic accident on October 9 where Tony Southwood was also tragically pronounced dead at the scene. Picture: Whitney Elizabeth Hughes

Whitney Elizabeth Hughes with her mum, Gillian Williams, who died on Redbourn Road in a traffic accident on October 9 where Tony Southwood was also tragically pronounced dead at the scene. Picture: Whitney Elizabeth Hughes

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The daughter of a woman who died in a crash on Redbourn Road is calling for vital safety improvements to prevent further fatalities.

A5183 Redbourn Road. New speed limit at the Pre bend.A5183 Redbourn Road. New speed limit at the Pre bend.

Whitney Elizabeth Hughes, 28, of Worley Road, St Albans is desperate to stop anyone else from being killed on the route.

Whitney's mother, Gillian Williams, and motorist Tony Southwood both died after being involved in a collision on the Redbourn Road on Wednesday, October 9.

Whitney Elizabeth said: "My mum was only 55 when she died. She was on her way back from work. She was a hard-working woman and had just moved back to work in her home town of St Albans and was so excited about being back.

"My mum told me several times that Redbourn Road is dangerous and to be careful as people have died in accidents there. I am devastated that my mum has had her life taken away from her at such a young age. I really hope that something can be done to prevent more deaths on this road."

A5183 Redbourn Road. New speed limit at the Pre bend.A5183 Redbourn Road. New speed limit at the Pre bend.

Whitney believes the road would be much safer with speed cameras and better lighting.

Figures that Whitney obtained from Herts County Council confirm that another fatal accident occurred at 6.29pm on December 15, 2016 with a man in his 40s declared dead at the junction with Verulam Road and Hempstead Road.

Another person died - and three were seriously injured - in a collision on Redbourn Road on May 12 2018.

The statistics show that a total of 18 people have died on that road since 1980.

A5183 Redbourn Road. New speed limit at the Pre bend.A5183 Redbourn Road. New speed limit at the Pre bend.

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In 2014, after the death of a cyclist on the same road, then Cllr Maxine Crawley donated the money from her localities budget for safety improvements.

She said at the time that her actions were prompted by a petition from residents calling for a footpath wide enough for both cyclists and pedestrians on the Redbourn Road.

Speaking to the Herts Advertiser this week, she said: "What we did was got a working party together and highways officers and residents and I met and came up with ideas to make the road safer.

Redbourn Road. Picture: Google MapsRedbourn Road. Picture: Google Maps

"The medium-term plan was to sort out the footpath and improve the drainage so that the road wouldn't be so wet from flooding - which we did.

"But by the time you manage to get the foliage under control, it needs doing again. The long-term plan was to really improve the road which needed a lot of money which we were trying to source. That was when I stopped being a county councillor."

Chairman of Redbourn Parish Council Cllr David Mitchell said: "Redbourn Parish Council has a meeting scheduled with Herts Highways on December 16 to discuss this road.

"I have already spoken to [county] Cllr Annie Brewster about the deaths in recent years. I think that one of the problems is that the road is very straight and wide, being once three lanes.

Redbourn Road roundabout. Picture: Google MapsRedbourn Road roundabout. Picture: Google Maps

"Whilst the cause of the recent accident is unknown to me, and speeding seems unlikely, I know people do tend to drive fast down this road. In an ideal world we would like the width of the road reduced and a dedicated cycle path and separate pavement. Hopefully that would make sure pedestrians and cyclists were safe. Of course, we know this would be very expensive."

A spokesperson for Hertfordshire Highways said: "We were obviously saddened to hear of the recent fatalities on the A5183 Redbourn Road and are continuing to work closely with the police on the ongoing investigation.

"The safety of all road users and pedestrians is of paramount importance to Hertfordshire County Council and we always encourage residents to voice any concerns which they might have about their local roads."

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