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Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson welcomes completion of works to improve safety at M58 accident blackspot but says he will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the safety measures

Bill Esterson MP

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson has welcomed confirmation this week that a perilous stretch of road on the M58 has been resurfaced following delays at the end of last year - but he said he will continue to closely monitor the road to ensure it is finally safe.

The Highways Agency contacted the MP this week to confirm that they had completed the work on the road.

Road resurfacing on a stretch of the M58 near to Maghull that had been identified as an accident blackspot was due to take place at the end of 2014. But the agency confirmed that weather had led to delays.

There had been numerous accidents on the stretch of road, including that of 26-year-old Formby chef Robert Davies who in 2011 was killed when his Peugeot 308 spun off while travelling below 70mph. His car came down the embankment backwards and through a picket fence which smashed through the window of the car.

The latest accident at the spot happened on Boxing Day which resulted in another man losing his life.

A safety report in June last year revealed there had been a number of accidents on the stretch of road near to Bickerstaffe during "wet/dark conditions [which] exhibit underlying trends associated with the retention of water".

Bill Esterson read the report and met with Robert Davies' mother Sue in the autumn of last year.

He immediately called on the Highways Agency to carry out the urgent resurfacing at the site to alleviate any problems of surface water.

In an email to Bill Esterson MP confirming completion of road resurfacing work this week, the Highways Agency stated: "I’m pleased to report that the resurfacing works on the M58 were successfully completed last weekend. During this week, we have also been able to observe how effective the new surface has been from a drainage perspective, and we have seen that water is draining from the surface far more effectively than has previously been the case."

Bill Esterson said: "While I am pleased that resurfacing work has now been completed, I only wish there had been no delays and the work could have been done on schedule. The Highways Agency however tells me that due to weather conditions at the end of last year when the work was due to take place, it had not been possible.

"During my meeting with the Highways Agency, and after meeting Sue Davies, I urged them to carry out the road resurfacing as soon as possible in order to deal with the potential dangers of surface water leading to vehicles aquaplaning.

"They have now carried that work out. But that isn't the end of it. I will closely be monitoring the safety of the road and I have already asked the Highways Agency to investigate whether a new crash barrier in replacement of the existing fence would make the road even safer.

"However, as with any other publicly funded agency, the Highways Agency has had its budget cut and funding will be hard to find. But that doesn't mean that work should not be done."

Bill paid tribute to the Formby mother who has "tirelessly campaigned" for safety measures on the road.

Bill said: "Mrs Davies has raised concerns about this particular stretch of the M58 from when she tragically lost her son Robert nearly four years ago.

"Instead of giving up, she has fought for action to be taken to help save lives. It is due to her perseverance that the work was carried and she kept this issue on the agenda.

"I know she wants further action taken to make the road even safer and that is a viewpoint I have a lot of sympathy with, but in the meantime I will continue to monitor the road to make sure that everything that has been done is as effective as we hope it will be and if any further safety measures are needed, then action is taken."

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