By Dan Santy 22/06 Updated: 22/06 11:01
ONE death and two bad smashes on the M6 near Catthorpe in a week have led to calls for safety work to start sooner than later.
On Monday June 11, 45-year-old haulier Scott Bridges, from Flitwick in Bedford, was killed on the notorious stretch of the M6 when his articulated lorry was involved in a crash with another lorry.
And a week later, on Monday (June 18), two cars and a lorry crashed on the same stretch - between junction one and the Catthorpe interchange - leaving one man trapped in his car and suffering head injuries.
It has prompted Rugby MP Mark Pawsey to make fresh enquiries into exactly when long awaited work to improve safety at the accident blackspot will get underway.
Mr Pawsey said he was saddened by the death of Mr Bridges and had this week spoken with roads minister Mike Penning about the Government's plans for the junction.
"The money has been firmly allocated for the upgrade to improve both safety and connectivity, but it remains a requirement for a public inquiry to take place which is due to start imminently," he said.
"Mr Penning hopes this will enable work to start in 2013. He is as concerned as I am about the continuing accidents and is fully aware of the urgency of the situation.
"In the meantime I am writing to the Highways Agency to ask them to consider further measures to improve safety temporarily, particularly on the exit lanes from the M6 to the roundabout."
Since 2004 the number of people killed at the Catthorpe interchange has reached double figures, and there have been over 600 injuries in crashes there during the time.
Many of the accidents are caused by heavy rush hour congestion which forces drivers to queue on the motorway when trying to leave the M6 southbound while traffic speeds past them at over 70mph.
For well over a decade, talks have been held about how to improve the junction but work has been delayed to a lack of funding to meet the estimated £200 million costs.
The planned redesign would see access cut from the M6 south to M1 north, and visa versa.
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