13 Aug 26 Year Campaign Reaches Milestone
Following the death of Andrew Fielding 26 years ago in a road crash, his parents, Pauline and David Fielding have warmly welcomed the public commitment of Cheshire West and Chester Council to improve the safety of the A540 and in particular the junction of Chester High Road with Upper Raby Road and Raby Park Road in Neston, where Andrew died. The Council plan to introduce traffic signals with a controlled pedestrian crossing.
Since Andrew’s death his parents have campaigned to reduce dangers there and more recently have worked closely with the campaign group Action54Zero. The campaigners have worked with Cheshire West and Chester Council to explore options. In a statement the Council said,
“This option will now be subject to detailed highway design and feasibility, taking into account factors such as neighbouring property, landscape and ecology, air quality, utility cables or pipes and project costs.
Action 54Zero, alongside other key stakeholders, will continue to be involved in this process and further updates will be provided by the Council at key milestones in this important initiative.
Councillor Karen Shore, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport said: “I am pleased to be able to confirm that funding has been allocated in this coming financial year to develop proposals that will seek to improve the safety of the A540 and in particular the junction with Raby Park Road.
“At a recent meeting with the campaign group, our team presented the preferred design option and I was pleased to hear of the group’s overwhelming support for this option.
“It is now vitally important that this preferred option is taken forward appropriately with key stakeholders directly affected by the proposal alongside the Action54Zero group. I would once again like to thank Mrs Fielding and the group for their passionate and determined campaign to improve safety and connectivity on this stretch of highway.”
Justin Madders, MP, said, “I too am delighted that Cheshire West and Chester Council are so committed to delivering these much needed safety improvements. I would like to pay tribute to all those who have campaigned for this to happen, in particular Pauline Fielding who has worked tirelessly over many years to get to where we are today.”
Councillor Martin Barker said, “Members of Action54Zero are absolutely delighted with the content of this press release by Cheshire West and Chester Council which was our preferred option. Mrs Fielding has campaigned with courage and dignity for over 26 years and we look forward to seeing the results of this in 2023/24.”
Phil Lloyd, Chair of the Action54Zero group said, “The group welcomes the press release from Cheshire West and Chester Council because it represents a public commitment to major improvements on the A540 around the junction with Raby Park Road, Neston.
“Crucially this commitment is backed by the necessary finance, a timescale for completion and an undertaking to work with interested parties as the project for a safer and more efficient road continues towards completion in 2023/24.”
Pauline Fielding said, “David and I are delighted that improvements will be made to the junction where our son died in a crash caused by a driver who did not stay at the scene and who was never traced. We had recognised the dangers of the junction long before Andrew died and had always avoided turning there. We determined we would campaign to make the junction safer so no other families would lose a loved one there. It took 5 years of campaigning before the speed limit there was reduced from 60 to 40 mph and it has taken another 21years to reach this milestone.
“From the day Andrew died we have had wonderful support from our family, friends, Neston High School, RoadPeace and the Wirral community who have helped us through this life changing experience, supported and encouraged us. We thank them all most sincerely for this. Over the years we have been greatly helped by the late Andrew Miller, who was MP for Neston and Ellesmere Port at the time of Andrew’s death, the current MP Justin Madders and our own ex MP Ben Chapman. We will always be truly thankful to them. We would also like to thank the media, current Officers and Councillors of Cheshire West and Chester Council and each member of Action54Zero, without whom we would not have reached this milestone! We pay tribute to you all and send our heartfelt thanks.
“We look forward to the implementation of the improvements as soon as possible and trust that they will make the A540 safer for everyone who uses it but particularly those travelling to the recreation centre and Neston High School which Andrew and his brothers attended. This will be a wonderful and lasting tribute to Andrew.”