The barriers set to cover the 136-kilometre stretch between London and Tilbury are coming, but will need time.
That’s according to Kathryn McGarry, the new minister of transportation, who said high-tension cable barriers will be installed for the short term while an assessment can be made to the state of the infrastructure on that stretch of road.
“This process is about making the right decisions to improve road safety, and that is why our path forward balances the need for quick action while also planning for the next steps,” said McGarry in a written statement to XFM news.
For Alysson Storey, this is only the first step.
“But the government must understand, we won’t be going anywhere until the promise of concrete barriers is kept,” said Storey.
Storey’s push to get the barriers gained momentum after her friends Sarah Payne, 42, and her daughter, Freya, 5, of London, were killed in an Aug. 29 crossover crash near Dutton, west of London.
She organized a massive petition tabled at Queen’s Park last fall and campaigned online under the Twitter hashtag #BuildTheBarrier.
“approximately 40 per cent to 50 per cent of traffic on this section of the 401 is commercial tractor trailers,” she said.
Some concerns were raised surrounding the installation of high-tension cable barriers first.
“In this instance, we (advocates) can accept the ministry’s decision to survey the land first. These cable barriers can save 60 per cent of drivers,” said Storey.
“However, all of the research, including the MTO’s research, shows that the only way to really protect drivers is with concrete barriers.”
For Storey, the fight for more safety on the 401 has been emotional.
“The toll it’s taken on myself and our families, I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy,” she said.
“We can’t let any other families go through what we have, we just can’t.”