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Residents say no to A580 East Lancs danger junction closure, meeting hears

By Josh Dyson and Tony Flynn

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Campaigners who want to close the Barton Road junction of the A580 were left disappointed at a public meeting in Swinton last night.

Young couple Aaron Jones and Amy Hobson were killed in June last year when their Vauxhall Corsa was hit at high speed by two boy racers as they tried to cross the Manchester-bound carriageway.

Councillors said they would investigate the option to close the central reservation at Barton Road in the wake of the tragedy.

The plan would mean traffic would not be able to turn right from Barton Road on the Liverpool-bound A580 East Lancs, and there would be no right turn into Barton Road from the opposite side of the carriageway.

A pedestrian crossing is due to be installed further down the East Lancs to make crossing the busy road safer.

But readers expressed consternation at the plans, which were announced in a letter sent out last week by Urban Vision to around 200 homes in Swinton.

Over 4,000 people signed a petition calling for traffic lights to be installed at the junction in the wake of Aaron and Amy’s deaths.

But council planners dismissed the idea based on an “unacceptable impact on traffic flow”, saying that the idea could actually increase, rather than reduce, the number of accidents.

A packed room at Springwood School in Swinton heard the proposals last night.

Swinton South Councillor Neil Blower told SalfordOnline.com: “The point of the meeting was to garner people’s views on the proposed road closure and gauge the public opinion.

“Personally I think that the road should remain open, I am no expert on traffic solutions but I got the impression that most people at the meeting were against the closure.”

His Swinton South colleague Councillor Howard Balkind added: “In my view the closure should not go ahead for several reasons.

“A bus service for the elderly people who live on the estate which goes to Salford Royal Hospital would be affected.

“We have to find out if Transport for Greater Manchester would re-route the bus service from Lancaster Road then onto the Bolton Road.

“Also, the emergency services could be affected.

“How would the fire service or ambulance attend an emergency on the estate, would they also be expected to go the long way round?

“It is early days yet and we are still awaiting for all the information and opinions on the night to be scrutinised before any decisions can be made.”

Watch: Closure plans for A580 East Lancs danger junction where Amy Hobson and Aaron Jones killed

A friend of Amy Hobson’s, Kerry Cole, highlighted the poor safety record at the junction saying there had been at least 19 accidents there in recent years.

She told SalfordOnline.com the meeting was “a waste of time”.

“There was nobody there of any significance, there were councillors there representing other groups.

“It felt like the decision had already been made.”

Amy, mum to four-year-old Alfie, died in Salford Royal Hospital after receiving CPR at the scene and Aaron, who was described by his cousins as “a popular lad”, died at the scene having suffered multiple injuries.

Their Vauxhall Corsa was hit at around 70mph by two high-powered Audis who were racing each other in a “high speed game”, witnesses told police.

Stephen Ward, 26, and Carl Wood, 27, were each jailed for nine years last December after admitting causing death by dangerous driving at Manchester Crown Court and were both disqualified from driving for nine years.

Video taken at the scene on a busy afternoon shows cars inching out of Barton Road directly into incoming traffic.

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SalfordOnline.com's Local History Editor and Senior Reporter.

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