22nd Sep, 2020

Road chiefs vow to 'learn lessons' over Ketch island

Malvern Editorial 3rd Jul, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

IMPROVEMENTS to tackle issues around the controversial Ketch island were unveiled too quickly, a leading county councillor has admitted.

Coun Simon Geraghty, deputy leader of Worcestershire County Council, said highway chiefs would learn lessons from the long-running saga as they push on with the rest of the Southern Link development.

Highway bosses also apologised over the issue at an economy and environmental overview and scrutiny meeting last Wednesday (June 24) and admitted the improvements were probably opened too soon.

“My perception is the improvements were probably opened a little too early,” Coun Geraghty said.

“We are going to make sure when we move forward we will learn the lessons and apply them to future projects.

“We must not allow this to dent the public’s confidence in our highway,” he added.

John Hobbs, director of environmental services at the county council, said no one was in denial about the roundabout, one of the busiest routes into Malvern, but thanked the public for highlighting the problem.

“We like to be ahead of the game on safety but sometimes our public get ahead of us,” Mr Hobbs said. “I would personally like to give thanks to the media and public for the speed of their reaction.

“I would also like to apologise to anyone who had an unsettling experience with the Carrington merger. I saw the video and if it doesn’t wake people up then I don’t know what will.

“I accept we are meant to be better than that, we are meant to be the experts. Regrettably some things that are obvious now are not as obvious at the time.”

A video by county councillor Tom Wells, which has been viewed more than 83,000 times, highlighted the problem with the £8million scheme and a safety audit has since been completed and a new layout – including red hatching – has been installed.

Coun Wells said: “I am delighted to hear we are talking about an ongoing investigation because there are serious lessons to be learnt here.

“What we have got is something which went horribly wrong and thankfully the public response was so strong we may well have prevented a serious head on collision.”

Coun Paul Tuthill added: “In the last two or three weeks failure was snatched from the jaws of success.

“We had two weeks of mayhem. Why did it take so long for something to be done when for many people it was obvious from the first time they drove on it.”

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