Crash prompts renewed speed limit calls

A group of residents living in a north Suffolk village who had to be evacuated from their homes after a gas pipe was ruptured following a road accident renewed their campaign for a speed limit last night.

By David Lennard

A group of residents living in a north Suffolk village who had to be evacuated from their homes after a gas pipe was ruptured following a road accident renewed their campaign for a speed limit last night.

The residents live in a group of cottages at Shipmeadow, between Bungay and Beccles, and have been campaigning for a speed limit on the busy road outside their homes for a number of years.

On Wednesday evening a car narrowly avoided crashing into one of the cottages after it left the road and ended up just inches from the home of Sue Ryley.


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The motorist was taken to the James Paget Hospital at Gorleston following the crash, which happened shortly after 7pm, where he was treated for broken ribs and cuts.

The crash did, however, rupture a gas pipe outside Mrs Ryley's homes, and people living in four nearby cottages were evacuated while Transco workers carried out emergency repairs.

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“I had just been listening to the weather forecast which said we could expect thunderstorms during the evening when there was an almighty bang and I thought for once the forecasters had got it right,” said Mrs Ryley.

“But when I looked outside I saw there had been an accident and a car had ended up very close to the wall of my cottage.

“I had been sitting just the other side of that wall so I did have a lucky escape.”

The car had crashed through a wooden gate and struck a conifer tree that had prevented it from smashing into the cottage.

Remains of the gate, fencing, and the conifer tree that had been uprooted and broken in two by the impact, remained at the scene of the crash yesterday.

People living in the group of cottages were evacuated for their own safety while the gas repairs were carried out and spent the evening at a friend's house in the village before being allowed to return at about 10pm.

The B1062 road outside their homes links the two north Suffolk towns and is busy during the day and night.

At present there is no speed restriction apart from the national 60 mph limit for single carriageway roads.

Angela Levett, who was also evacuated from her home following the accident, said: “We have long been campaigning for a speed limit along this stretch of road but without success.

“We want to see a speed limit introduced before someone is seriously hurt,” she said.

“It may be clear when you start to pull out but cars come round the bend and are quickly right up to you.

“We urgently need a speed limit or at the very least some warning signs to let motorists know they are approaching a dangerous corner with houses nearby.”

The accident on Wednesday evening saw a car leave the road, and overturn, before ending up in the front garden of the cottage after being involved in a collision with a white Ford Escort van.

Last night police appealed for any witnesses to the accident to contact Pc Lindsay Clarke at Beccles police station by telephoning 01473 613500.

n The driver of the second vehicle involved in the collision was arrested by police at about 9pm on Wednesday evening on suspicion of failing to stop for a road accident.

The 49-year-old woman, from the Beccles area, has been released on police bail without charge and will return to Lowestoft police station on Monday, December 12.

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