Prescott Mayor renews calls for widening 401 following fatal bus crash

Prescott Mayor Brett Todd is renewing his call to add an extra lane of traffic in each direction on the stretch of Highway 401 where a tour bus crashed this week, claiming the life of at least one person.

Todd tells Newstalk 580 CFRA’s The Morning Rush with Bill Carroll traffic volume has been increasing on the 401 between the 416 and Brockville.

“It’s almost like there's a significant collision there every couple of weeks now,” he says. “It’s become a fairly dangerous stretch of highway here.”

Todd says extra commercial vehicles on the road add to the congestion, and the time has come to widen the highway.

“I think the biggest thing we can do to help alleviate some of the pressure – and something we’ve been advocating for – is expansion of the 401 to three lanes,” he says. “We’ve seen it in other parts of the province. It is steadily growing to the east. I think we need to move that up and get the plans ready for that expansion in the very near future.”

He adds even more can be done.

“One of the things we can do to alleviate some of the transport issues – we’ve got to provide them with more rest stops on the 401.” Todd says. “One of the things I’ve really learned from this whole process is we need to do more for our tractor trailer drivers; they need those rest stops.”

Todd says whichever party forms the Provincial government this week will need to take this issue seriously.

“I’m hoping we’ll get a better reception,” he says. “We’ve actually had good support in the region. Our own MPP Steve Clark backed my call for the three lanes early on. Our Liberal candidate, Dave Henderson, mayor of Brockville, is on board as well. In our area, it’s not really a partisan issue. I think whatever party takes power this week needs to be ready for sustained pressure from eastern Ontario. Lives depend on it.”