Portobello improvements finally on their way

Portobello crossroads near Shipston-on-Stour.

Much delayed vital safety improvements to the notorious Portobello Crossroads near Shipston could be finally on the way, as the county council confirmed this week that work is scheduled to start tomorrow (Monday 1st July).

It’s been a long frustrating wait for road safety campaigners to get to this stage, with a series of setbacks pushing the improvement works back.

Early in 2017 Warwickshire County Council finally agreed to make improvements, but stopped short of agreeing to the installation of a roundabout campaigners had been calling for.

Instead a new traffic light and signalling scheme was approved, but despite ambitions to carry out the work in spring 2017, nothing happened.

A host of reasons have since been given for the lack of progress including the presence of nesting birds, long negotiations with private landowners and the design of new directional LED lighting at the site.

However this week a spokesperson for Warwickshire County Council said: “We can confirm the signalisation of Portobello Crossroads is entering the final stages of planning and the works are due to start the week commencing 1 July 2019.”

Shipston Mayor Dan Scobie said: “I thing progress on this will be a good thing for everybody, it’s taken a long time and there have been lots of delays but it’s great to see progress. However I’m a little disappointed that it is traffic lights and not a roundabout.

“I believe this is a compromise solution between doing nothing and spending the money on a roundabout that we really need. However I do think these improvements will make a positive difference and improve safety.”

Local road safety campaigners have long called for action at the notorious accident blackspot, which claimed the life of 25-year-old Julios Catachanas, in 2014.