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Town of Stratford working with province and emergency services on plan of action for Hillsborough Bridge accidents

Stratford Coun. Gary Clow gives his safety services report during last week’s council meeting. Clow said something must be done to decrease the number of collisions that occurs on the Hillsborough Bridge.
Stratford Coun. Gary Clow gives his safety services report during last week’s council meeting. Clow said something must be done to decrease the number of collisions that occurs on the Hillsborough Bridge. - Mitch MacDonald

Something has to be done to lower the number of collisions on the Hillsborough Bridge, says a Stratford councillor and former police officer.

Coun. Gary Clow, who chairs the town’s safety services committee, raised the issue during last week’s council meeting.

Clow pointed to an article published in The Guardian that stated 31 collisions were reported in the Hillsborough Bridge area, which spans Riverside Drive to the left turning lane onto Hopeton Road, from the start of 2013 to the end of 2017.

“What got me was… there was a fatality there in that time and there were six of them resulting in injuries,” said Clow, noting that an additional 20 collisions were nearby at the Stratford and Hopeton Roads intersection which resulted in nine people being injured.

“I think something has to be done there (with) the traffic…. It’s inattentive driving, a lot of them are on cell phones, a lot of them aren’t paying attention.”

Mayor David Dunphy said the town has met with Crossroads Fire Department, Charlottetown Fire Department, RCMP, the province’s transportation department, Island EMS and Highway Safety on the issue.

He said the group will soon be meeting again to collaborate on creating a plan for how to reduce those collisions.

However, Dunphy said they’ll also be looking at how to return to an efficient flow of traffic following a collision on the bridge.

“The focus there is going to be to determine what he have to be prepared for…. Little fender benders are one thing, but if there’s a major accident that closes the bridge for an extended period of time, we have to have a plan of action on how to deal with that,” said Dunphy. “If there’s an accident on the bridge, emergency vehicles have to get across.”

Monday morning saw the most recent collision on the Hillsborough Bridge. Incoming traffic to Charlottetown was met with heavy delays following the collision.

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