COUNTLESS lives have been torn apart over the years by collisions on the A19.

In the last few days politicians, coroners and the grieving family of Sonia Rose have all spoken out about how people using the road feel they are taking their lives into their hands every time they use it.

At an inquest held this week into her death on the road, Coroner Michael Oakley pledged to write again to the Department for Transport, calling for the many gaps in the central reservation barrier to be closed. It will be his second letter to the government on the topic after another death on the same stretch of road last year.

That’s why the Darlington & Stockton Times is proud to be backing the family of Sonia Rose in their calls for the road to be made safe, with our Close the Gaps campaign.

We know our region doesn’t get the infrastructure investment enjoyed by the South-East; we don’t have the roads or the rail links we need, but at the very least we need to have roads that aren’t death traps. The amount of money needed to close the gaps in the crash barrier will not be vast and the prospect of some slip roads replacing the sharp turn-offs on the dual carriageway needs to be at least looked at in a serious manner.

Every serious accident on that road has huge ramifications; for the businesses in the North-East and North Yorkshire relying on the roads, for the communities who have motorway levels of traffic diverted through their small roads when the road is closed. But most of all for the victims and the families of those killed or seriously injured on the road, who will live with the most painful consequences day in, day out.