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Action soon on A144 safety?

07:27 04 September 2003

By David Lennard

SAFETY improvements on road that claimed the lives of three people from the same family could soon be carried out.

Residents, parish councils and county councillors - backed by an East Anglian Daily Times campaign - have called for urgent action to improve the A144 between Halesworth and Bungay following the fatal accident.
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By David Lennard

SAFETY improvements on road that claimed the lives of three people from the same family could soon be carried out.

Residents, parish councils and county councillors - backed by an East Anglian Daily Times campaign - have called for urgent action to improve the A144 between Halesworth and Bungay following the fatal accident.

Ivan and Pamela Jeffery, and Mrs Jeffery's mother, Constance Rome, all from Downham Market, died in a three-vehicle crash on the road on July 10.

The crash was the latest in a series of accidents on the road and residents have demanded safety improvements as a matter of urgency.

Spexhall Parish Council had hoped to see changes introduced before children began the new school year.

Schools in the area open for the new term tomorrow, but any safety improvements on the A144 are unlikely to be introduced until later this year.

Morris Rose, who represents the Bungay area on Suffolk County Council, said: “I am afraid we are having to be patient and that is not easy.

“Personally, I would like to see a 50mph speed limit introduced on the road either side of the present 30mph limit that already exists as soon as possible.”

Mr Rose pointed out inquiries into the fatal accident were still ongoing and an inquest still had to take place.

“I think it is only right that we wait for the full inquiry into this terrible accident before making any changes,” he said.

Peter Aldous, who represents Halesworth on Suffolk County Council, agreed there needed to be a thorough investigation into the fatal accident in July.

“I can understand local people thinking that nothing is being done, but this is not the case,” he said.

“I have been involved in discussions with transport officials and hope that a number of improvements could be introduced in the autumn.”

Mr Aldous is using some of his locality budget funding to improve footpaths close to the Spexhall crossroads on the A144 in an attempt to make it safer for pedestrians.

He has also pressed for a number of 40mph “buffer zones” to be introduced either side of the present 30mph restricted area already operating on the A144 in parts of Spexhall and Ilketshall St Lawrence.

“Both Morris Rose and myself have been in almost constant touch with transport officials and I am confident that safety measures can be introduced on this stretch of road,” said Mr Aldous.

Rod Sore, Suffolk County Council road safety manager, said: “We have been carefully looking at measures which could improve safety on this stretch of road and have visited the site with the police.

“We know that local people have concerns and are keen to see appropriate changes being made as soon as possible.

“It is important that any improvements include any recommendations from the police investigation into the recent tragic accident.”

david.lennard@eadt.co.uk

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