Northampton neighbourhood pleads for action on stop sign junction to end 'constant' near misses and collisions

Residents say motorists regularly ignore the stop sign at the junction of Collingwood Road and Birchfield Road.
Residents say motorists regularly ignore the stop sign at the junction of Collingwood Road and Birchfield Road.
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Homeowners say it is only a matter of time until someone is killed or seriously injured on a "dangerous" junction in Northampton.

They say accidents, collisions and near misses happen regularly in their neighbourhood in Phippsville because "scores" of drivers ignore a stop sign placed before a one-way street.

One such incident in August last year saw a high-speed two-vehicle collision lead to a car crashing through a resident's living room.

Now, residents around the junction of Collingwood Road and Birchfield Road, off Kingsley Park Terrace, are calling on councillors for a complete rethink of the road before a fatal accident happens.

Peter Hanuell, who lives on the junction, said: "My greatest fear is that when an accident happens the cars always mount the pavement. We must have one every three months and it's a miracle no one has been hurt yet.

"I think it's a terrible junction. I've lived here 20 years and it's never been so bad. People either don't pay attention or just ignore the stop sign."

One of the stop signs on Collingwood Road was recently replaced by the highways department - because it was flattened in a road incident in February. They also repainted the road markings highlighting the stop signs.

But residents say they see motorists drive straight through the junction every day, while others regularly come the wrong direction down Birchfield Road's one-way street.

One resident, who asked not to be named, was on holiday with her family when a motorist crashed into her house in Birchfield Road.

She said: "I'm just thankful none of us was in the house and no one was hurt. It's taken months to even start repairing the damage.

"My concern is nothing will get done until someone is hurt or killed.

"It's a fantastic community here who are all behind changing this road and fixing the problem.

"I don't know what could fix it. Some say barriers and speed bumps, some say traffic lights or a mini-roundabout. But something must be done."

The penalty for ignoring a stop sign in the UK is three points on the offender's driving license.

Danielle Stone, ward councillor for Phippsville, says “The residents of this area have had enough. They have not only pointed out the issues, they have also come up with possible solutions and deserve to be properly listened to. This is urgent. The police, the borough council and the highways department need to be working with the residents to make this area safe for householders, motorists and pedestrians.

"A simple solution would be to limit the speed limit on Collingwood Road and Birchfield Road to 20 mph. These are residential streets, not a thoroughfare."

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: "Road safety interventions need to be evidence led which ensures that we direct our resources to where they are most needed.

“In the past three years, there have been no injury accidents at this location – the main criteria used when considering where measures should be introduced.

“However, recently a number of measures were introduced in this location to increase visibility including making the ‘stop’ signs more visible, introducing new advance ‘stop’ signs and refurbishing the road markings.”