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A14: Police to investigate ‘dangerous’ slip road from Shell garage after four-vehicle crash near Orwell Bridge this morning

18:06 05 March 2014

The A14 heading west towards the Orwell Bridge.

The A14 heading west towards the Orwell Bridge.

Police will investigate whether a “dangerous” garage slip-road on the A14 led to a four-vehicle crash near the Orwell Bridge which caused misery for morning commuters.

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Three cars and a van were involved in a collision westbound between the Shell filling station and the Orwell Bridge at around 7.45am today, police said.

The outside lane was closed for nearly two hours before reopening at 9.35am when all four vehicles had been recovered.

One man in his 40s suffered neck injuries not thought to be life-threatening and was taken to Ipswich Hospital for further treatment.

Police are investigating the collision and said all lines of inquiries, including whether the slip-road from the Shell garage may have been a factor, will be considered.

Posting comments on our website, one reader described the slip-road as “dangerous”, adding there is “no proper slip-road to speak of” leaving motorists with “no room for error”.

The crash comes after plans were agreed to introduce a new speed limit to cut accidents on the Orwell Bridge by the end of the summer.

The new limit, likely to be 60mph, is expected to cover the approach to the bridge on both sides, including the problematic garage sliproad.

Speaking in January, Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner, said there were “no immediate plans” to improve the slipway itself, but explained that it was “still on the agenda” and could be considered if the other alterations did not fully resolve the problems.

Tonight, Inspector Darren Elliot, of Suffolk Constabulary, said if a number of collisions take place on the same stretch of road, this will be “analysed and discussed so that solutions can found”.

He said: “The causes of all serious collisions are studied by police and partner agencies such as the Highways Agency in order to see if there are any engineering or enforcement solutions that can be put in place so that further collisions can be avoided.

“We would always advise motorists to leave sufficient distance between themselves and the vehicle in front, particularly in areas where there are on and off slips and to be aware of vehicles that are looking to move in to your lane.”

When asked if the Shell garage slip-road was deemed a safety hazard which may have contributed to the crash, a Highways Agency spokesman said: “This morning’s incident is still being investigated by the police so it would be inappropriate to comment on causation at this stage.”

However, the spokesman said that any data that suggests that a change to the road layout would deliver safety benefits is “considered very carefully indeed”.

“Safety is our top priority and we constantly monitor safety in the Orwell Bridge area of the A14 as we do across our network,” she added.

“A scheme is planned to further improve safety between junctions 56 and 57. This will introduce a permanent speed limit with associated signs and road markings.”

Yesterday’s accident involved a Vauxhall Vivaro van, a Fiat Panda, a Renault Scenic and a Hyundai i20.

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12 comments

  • Well if Safety is a top priority - seems to have taken a little while.

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    The Leaf Inspector

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Sarky Sarge is right. Why spend time and money on an investigation? The evidence is already clearly there for all to see.

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    Robotix

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • Given the impact that the regular A14 closures have on the local economy and peoples lives, you'd think that the authorities and people in power would take a little more responsibility and impose the speed limit NOW via the overhead signs. Why wait ???

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    Adrian Day

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • The slip road is too short but why do motorists assume that when they put their right indicator on that they have the right to pull out into the next lane regardless of the traffic? What has happened to patience?

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    DALINE

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • It's bad driving that causes the incidents and not just at this junction. Time after time you see drivers emerging from slip roads without a right signal and without any thought to the traffic already on the duel carriageway. Drivers seem to forget that when you're joining a duel carriageway you are supposed to give way. And drivers on the duel carriageway drive too fast and too close to take avoiding action when one of these nutters just pulls out really slowly. People are the problem but the only answer is to improve (lengthen) the slip road to give drivers a chance to build up more speed to join safely. If a reduced speed limit is imposed who will enforce it? We have an existing speed limit of 70 mph and laws against tailgating the only time you see the police is after an accident, or a cat is stuck up a tree, then there's shed loads of them flashing their blue lights.

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    Driven Roundabend

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • Talk talk +that's it we all no the problem sort it

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    peddler

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • Give them a medal. Geniuses finally figured it out. Now there is no need to slow down the Orwell bridge!?!?

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    L9ghtjw003

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • In the 21 years I've driven this route I've never stopped here for fuel it's an awful exit from the petrol station too close to the bridge and too many speeding vehicles, lorries do not wait for a space they pull out into the a14 and it's more luck than judgement that they merge into the traffic this is a severe pile up waiting to happen

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    claire calver

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • The issue is ...the solution is too easy to fix the problem. Therefore to earn their money, everyone involved needs to think up completely irrelevant "solutions" to say they are doing something about it. 60 mph speed limit is not going to make any difference, I doubt the pile up the other day began with much more speed over 50 mph. If you are reducing the speeds at the Shell garage... those pulling out on the small slip way are MORE likely to risk putting their foot down... it will probably increase the collisions except during rush hour with bumper to bumper slow moving traffic.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • So for some reason an investigation is required when anyone with half a brain cell can see that these accidents are happening in the same place where the exit or entry slip lane is. We'll see what comes out of the summit today about the issues. For too long the A14 has been treated as the poor cousin to other major routes in the country, drive around and you will see multi-million pound projects happening at the M6M1M25 but never to support Britains largest container port. The highways agency could not care less if major business moves away from this area in favour of the London Gateway and it is down to our leaders to convince them otherwise. I also noticed yesterday that the police need to react quicker to clear the traffic and not interview the passengers on the central reservation!!. Put screens up quickly to stop rubber neckers, and escort recovery vehicles. A bit of common sense seems to be missing from those who can make a difference.

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    soapbox

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • It's quite simple - no need for analysis and lengthy pondering... the slip road is too short.

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    Sarky Sage

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • All the people who use the road on a regular basis know its an awful exit from the Shell garage and the number of accidents on that stretch of road surly speaks for its self.

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    A Smith

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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