A RESIDENT of Heywood is calling for the national 60mph speed limit on the A350 from Yarnbrook to Westbury to be lowered in a bid to save lives.

Civil servant Valerie Bias, 57, of West Lodge, Heywood, says the speed limit should be reduced to 50mph or even 40mph following a series of tragic fatal accidents.

She made the call as Heywood councillors considered a report on the issue at a parish council meeting last week.

They were told by Cllr Suzanne Wickham, Wiltshire Council’s representative on the local Community Area Transport Group that because the A350 is a major A road nothing much could be done apart from making sure that signage is visible at junctions.

Mrs Bias says the A350 main road from Trowbridge to Westbury is a “death trap” with four tragic fatalities there within the last 18 months.

She said: “I am really angry because potentially the road is a death trap. There have been four deaths on the road in the past few months, two at Yarnbrook and two close to the Blue Circle junction.

“There have also been several incidents at the Heywood junction where cars turning have been walloped.

“You can hear the noise and vibration from traffic, particularly motorcycles accelerating out of the 40mph zone at Yarnbrook.”

Mrs Bias says emergency service vehicles also increase the noise when they turn on their sirens approaching the blind bend near the Blue Circle junction at Coach Road.

Mrs Bias wrote to Wiltshire councillor Jerry Wickham last year to voice her concerns, and the issue has since been taken up by his wife, Cllr Suzanne Wickham, who was elected to the Ethandune ward after her husband died.

Mrs Wickham reported that as the major A road is the responsibility of Wiltshire Council, the national speed limit cannot be lowered unless the council agrees.

Cllr Wickham said: “I encouraged the lady to complete a form to Heywood Parish Council to send to CATG, which Heywood Parish Council always agrees to do.

“Because the A350 is a major A road, the chances of getting any speed restriction would be very difficult.

“However, the senior traffic planner has agreed to check all the signage at all the junctions where traffic is coming out onto the A350 to make sure it it visible.”

Cllr Wickham said the checks would be made before the next CATG meeting in March.

Cllr Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “This road was discussed at length at the last CATG meeting and a summary was provided to the area board on February 6.

“The group discussed collision history and the previous speed limit assessment, and although there is no area of particular concern based on this data, the group felt it would be worthwhile to look at this road and in particular, junctions and access roads where they join the A350 to see if any improvements can be made.

“This road remains on the agenda but it is not yet one of the top five priority schemes agreed by the CATG at this time for officers to investigate further."

Mrs Bias says she will continue to press Wiltshire Council to make improvements to the A350 in order to increase road safety.