‘Urgent’ Catthorpe Interchange review is needed following crashes

HA0428. March 2008. M1 Slip road, near Swinford, Rugby, Warwickshire

HA0428. March 2008. M1 Slip road, near Swinford, Rugby, Warwickshire

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THREE serious crashes in the space of just five days - one of which led to the death of a woman - around the notorious Catthorpe Interchange has led Rugby’s MP to say something needs to be urgently done about the accident blackspot.

In the last week Mark Pawsey MP has written to Philip Hammond, the Secretary of State for Transport, in the hope that the M1 and M6 around the Catthorpe Interchange can be improved sooner rather than later.

Over the last few years there have been hundreds of accidents on the M1 and M6 around the junction, with the death toll well into double figures.

Plans had been in place for an improvement programme for the junction but this has been put on hold by the Government until at least 2015.

Mr Pawsey said: “This has been postponed for another four years and the roadworks around there at the moment aren’t helping.

“In light of the number of accident this decision needs looking at again. Compared to the loss of life the inconvenience is minor but there is an impact on Rugby because our town gets clogged up when there has been an accident and the motorway is closed.

“Due to the number of accidents and loss of life, this is urgent.”

Last week an accident involving four vehicles closed the motorway network around Rugby and one man was seriously injured. On Tuesday the motorway was closed again after another multi-vehicle accident, during which one woman died and several needed hospital treatment. On Friday night another man was taken to hospital after his car rolled over, causing yet more chaos on the road.

Simon Leech, Rugby branch chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It’s underlined in the worst possible way what we have been saying for many years - action must be taken to improve the junction immediately.

“There is a plan in place to improve the junction, and although it is not exactly what we would have liked, it would still be an improvement on what we have at present.

“It is not only a safety issue, the delays and disruption caused by accidents at the junction has huge financial implications for businesses, particularly those in the haulage industries. This junction is one of the country’s main arteries joining the M1 and the M6, so it is not just local businesses which are affected, and it has become an issue for businesses nationally.”