A MOTHER’S 26-year campaign for traffic lights at a dangerous junction in Neston after the death of her son has reached a 'momentous' milestone after funding for vital road improvements was approved.

Andrew Fielding was driving along the A540 one day in 1994 when he was forced to swerve to avoid a car that cut across his path to turn into Raby Park Road – causing the 18-year-old to hit another car.

It was the second death in as many years at the location.

The coroner recording Andrew’s death called for a review into road safety at the junction.

Pauline Fielding, Andrew's mum, has led a campaign group for road improvements along the A540, particularly at its junction with Raby Park Road, ever since.

The group, called Action45Zero, and Cheshire West and Chester Council is working together on design options for major road improvements.

Earlier this month the group met with council officers to discuss preliminary proposals, which include providing better and safer walking routes to Neston High School, traffic lights as well as upgraded access arrangements at Quarry Road.

Mrs Fielding said: "It's hard to believe that after more than 25 years of campaigning to reduce dangers on the A540, in particular the junction of Raby Park Road with Chester High Road, funding has been allocated to develop proposals to achieve this and that Cheshire West and Chester Council are working together on design options with our campaign group, Action54Zero.

"We had long recognised the dangers of the junction and had always avoided turning there, so we determined we would campaign to prevent the same thing happening to others as had happened to us.

"On behalf of my family and Action54Zero which represents a wide range of interested parties I would like to express our appreciation for the recent constructive response from the Council to our longstanding concerns about the A540.

"It is a significant example of how the Council budget process can work well for communities.

"The A540 is a vital connection for Neston and it is essential that it is both safe and efficient.

"We believe that the traffic light proposal for Raby Park Road, linked to changes at related junctions and to pedestrian access to Neston High School, is both necessary and sufficient to meet our stated requirements.

"We look forward to continuing our work with CWaC to provide a solution that improves safety for all road users, especially the most vulnerable."

Councillor Karen Shore, deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, highways and strategic transport, said: "I am pleased to be able to confirm that funding has been allocated in this coming financial year to develop proposals that will seek to improve the safety of the A540 and in particular, the junction with Raby Park Road.

"Following a recent meeting which took place with the campaign group, our team presented initial proposals and will be able to start to design, scope and plan the delivery of improvements on the A540.

"I look forward to working with the Action54Zero group to progress this further and would like to thank Mrs Fielding and the group for their passionate and determined campaign to improve safety and connectivity on this stretch of highway."

As well as recent road marking improvements on the A540, the council is proposing two options to be developed further, one of which includes signalisation of the Raby Road junction and improvements to footpaths.

Once designs are complete, the project will move into delivery phase with anticipated completion in 2023/24.

The council and Action54Zero have arranged future meetings to continue the development of the scheme.

MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston Justin Madders, said: "I am delighted that the Council have recognised the need for improvements on the A540 and are going to fund them.

"This recognition is a vindication of the many years of campaigning by Pauline Fielding and other local people about the need to make that stretch of road safer.

"The fact that these proposals have been accepted is a tribute to the strength of the campaign and the resourcefulness of the council to make this a priority."

Mrs Fielding told the Globe: "I would like to thank everyone who has supported and encouraged my family since Andrew’s death, our wonderful friends, the community, the members of Action54Zero, Neston High School, RoadPeace - the national charity for road crash victims - Council officers, Councillors and MPs as well as members of the media over so many years.

“Your help and support has encouraged us to keep working to help prevent further death and injury on the A540 and beyond.

“Sincere thanks to you all.”