Calls for safety improvements on A140 after ‘tip of the iceberg’ crane crash

A county councillor has demanded safety improvements along the A140 in the wake of the Earl Stonham crane crash which left the road shut for 24 hours.

Andrew Stringer, who represents villages on both sides of the major road, said the latest closure was just the “tip of the iceberg” compared to the number of incidents along the road.

Police were called shortly after 2.30pm on Monday, October 26, after a 55-tonne crane crashed an overturned near the A1120 junction on the A140.

On Tuesday afternoon, Suffolk Highways announced that the road was not expected to reopen until that evening – over 24 hours later.

The Green party councillor said: “The A140 does continue to have regular accidents.

MORE: A140 to stay closed until evening after truck crash nearly 24 hours ago

“The amount of traffic that is using this road is increasingly worrying – and how large this traffic is now. The amount of HGVs on the road is also a concern.

“When we get one vehicle block the whole road then all the surrounding villages have to become the diversionary routes.”

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“Obviously we want answers as to why this major route can closed for so long just by one vehicle leaving the road.”

Mr Stringer welcomed the new roundabouts being developed further along the A140 near Eye, but said more needed to be done to improve safety all along the road.

He said: “In terms of the safety measures that are needed along the A140 we seem to be going backwards.

“And what’s even more worrying is that we’ve had more and more development approved along the A140 with little in the way of mitigation.

“So what we’re witnessing on the larger roads, is just the tip of the iceberg because there’s loads of stuff like this happening like that on those smaller tributary roads all the time.

“While we don’t know if this particular accident was speed-related we have noticed that speed restrictions measures have not been taken as seriously communities would like.”

Mr Stringer said that the Speed Indicator Device (SID) in Brockford, where there is a 30mph limit on the A140, detects so many people speeding that if each driver was issued a fixed penalty notice the fines would total “something like” £500,000 a week.

“Our communities have tried their best,” he said. “But what is annoying is that we’ve been waiting and waiting to trial automatic number plate recognition on our SIDs.”