Highways Act 1988 Section 39

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    Please can you help us to answer the following road safety questions.

    In accordance with  Highways Act 1988 Section 39:-
    What are the Local Highways Authorities statutory obligations following significant changes to design & layout of the uncontrolled A5111 Dual Carriageway access Gap?

    The Highways Authority have introduced and endorsed U-turn and Right turn manoeuvres which create new conflicts from vehicles crossing paths on the dual carriageway without any road signage or markings.

    Should the Local Highways Authorities answer questions from Derby Road users and provide information and advice to the Public for the safe use of a new road layout?

    Click on the link below to see what the junction looks like:


    Andrew Fraser

    Hello, Jim.

    Section 39 (3) (a) requires local authorities to carry out studies into accidents arising out of the use of vehicles on their roads, and must, in the light of those studies, take such measures as appear to the authority to be appropriate to prevent such accidents. In this case, I would have expected the local authority to have studied the accident record at the site, before acting, and, having done so, made sure that their action ensured that further accidents did not arise. The questions are, therefore, “Did the authority carry out an accident study?” and “What action has it taken to ensure that further accidents are prevented?”. One might also ask whether a Road Safety Audit was conducted. This doesn’t answer your question, but I think it’s important to establish what was done before the change. (Presumably, the answer the authority would give is that it will “monitor the situation” after the change.)

    Another, rather basic question, should be asked, namely, “Why does the local authority wish to keep this rather odd junction open, in any case, when the safest thing it could do would be to close the gap in the central reserve and permit only left-in, left out manoeuvres to and from Eastwood Drive?” I feel that there is more to this than meets the eye.

    As to your second question, (a) local authorities certainly should be answering questions – perhaps your local councillor could help and (b) a local authority’s connection with road users is through road signing. It might be argued that the Highway Code provides advice on the safe use of any road layout.

    I’m afraid the above is probably not very much use to you – interpretation of the law is not really for the likes of me – you would probably be better consulting a solicitor with expertise in roads matters.

    I am sorry to hear that you are still having problems with the junction, and I am shocked to read that a local roads authority claims that it does not hold “road safety information” for the gap. Without that, I cannot see how a local roads authority can carry out its duties under the Act. In any case, some information can be gleaned by anyone from https://www.crashmap.co.uk/, albeit at a price, and unvalidated by any local authority road safety engineer.

    I hope something of the above helps.



    Hello Andrew

    Thank you again for your response to our Road Safety Questions.
    Apologies for the delay in responding we were awaiting a response from Derby City Council.
    Our local MP Amanda Solloway recently wrote to Derby City Council Chief Executive Paul Simpson asking him to attend our our 4th Manor Road Gap – Road Safety Meeting 09/04/24 to discuss Road Safety concerns which were also publicised in the Derby Evening Telegraph 11th April 2024 page 6 and Derbyshire live.The Manor Road Gap was previously front page news last year 07/08/23

    The Chief Executive of Derby City Council Paul Simpson’s reply to our MP Amanda Solloway’s request on our behalf was to formally refuse to attend our Road Safety Meeting to discuss The Manor Road Gap stating ‘there is no benefit in discussions with Residents’
    This response from the head of our local Authority is shocking! why is he off offhandedly dismissing Residents Road Safety concerns regarding a dual carriageway section of Derby’s Ring Road A5111.

    However, Derbyshire Constabulary were in attendance to our 4th Road Safety Meeting and agreed with the Residents Road Safety concerns created by Derby City Councils new design and layout of the A5111 Manor Road Gap which has introduced new hidden road dangers from U-turns, Right turns and Obstructions from vehicles creating zero visibility, all of which are a risk to the 35,000 daily users of the A5111.

    We agree with your comment that there seems to be more to this than meets the eye!

    As Derby City Council are refusing to admit that they have made a mistake by creating new hidden Road Dangers following the re-design of Manor Rad Gap, and are continually declining to answer any Road Safety questions or provide evidence of Road Safety data for the New A5111 Manor Road Gap
    NorthEastwood Road Safety Campaign will remain to be committed to continuing to Campaign for Road Safety at the A5111 Manor Road Gap.

    Can you help with a contact for the Department for Transport that is able to review our Local Authorities lack of Duty of care in these circumstance?
    or is this a matter that can / should be addressed through legal channels?

    Thank you again for your help.

    NorthEastwood Road Safety Camnpaign

    Andrew Fraser

    Hello, Jim.

    Sorry for the delay in responding. I must have missed the “notify” button and only came across this by accident …

    I regret that I cannot think of anyone in DfT who would be in a position to assist. I’m not aware of any process by which DfT can review another roads authority’s actions.

    I think, however, that NERSC has grounds for a complaint about the Council’s various refusals. I’d suggest that you check what the Council’s complaint system is. In my experience, public bodies require complainants to go through their two stage processes. If the complainant isn’t satisfied by the response at the first stage, there’s a second stage, and if the complainant isn’t satisfied with the response at that stage, the complainant may go to the Ombudsman. Complainants can’t go to the Ombudsman unless they’ve been through the Council’s process. However, if the complainant isn’t satisfied with the Ombudsman’s judgement …

    Has the NERSC tried the Freedom of Information request system?

    I guess much depends on the questions NERSC decides to ask.

    I still think that the NERSC might best seek legal advice … it’s pretty serious when a Chief Executive ignores a Member of Parliament on the grounds you’ve quoted.


    Kate Carpenter

    I agree with Andrew’s observations above and would add that the speed limit on the dual carriageway is in my view too high for the character and form of the route. I would personally close that gap and make it left-in-left-out. there is a long standing collision history (see https://www.think.gov.uk/thinkmap/) involving vulnerable users: Pedestrians, cyclists, motorcylists. this is often a good indication that the speed limit (and actual traffic speed) is too high. the safe system approach we use now guides that speeds must be consistent with the firm; the type of usage here in my view calls for 30mph limit.

    IThere also looks like there is space to reallocate roadspace and create a segregated cycle route, it doesnt look a very cycle friendly network at present!

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