Crash sparks new bypass plea

CAMPAIGNERS for a village bypass spoke of their anger last night after a driver suffered critical injuries in a crash just weeks after they were told there was no funding available for improvements.

CAMPAIGNERS for a village bypass spoke of their anger last night after a driver suffered critical injuries in a crash just weeks after they were told there was no funding available for improvements.

Councillors and residents have been campaigning for seven years to win a bypass for Great Barton, near Bury St Edmunds, following a string of crashes on the main A143 through the village.

Derek Firth chairman of Great Barton Parish Council said the latest accident - which closed the Liveremere Road and Mill Road crossroads for several hours early yesterday, leaving one driver with suspected spinal injuries - reinforced the need for a bypass.

But he said roads chiefs from Suffolk County Council insisted two weeks ago there was no cash for the bypass - at least for the time being


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He said: “It was very disappointing for us - they said it wouldn't happen until 2010 or even 2016. But Great Barton is a village and it needs a bypass.”

Mr Firth said the relief road was also needed as the village, and neighbouring East Barton, were being used as rat runs by traffic trying to escape accidents and congestion on the nearby A14.

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“When there are accidents on the A14 like when two lorries collided last Friday it pushes the traffic through here and the roads just aren't built for it.”

Guy McGregor, the county council's portfolio holder for roads and transport, said: “It may well be the local people knowing of a problem and using the village roads to cut through.”

He said speed strips would soon be installed to measure the speeds vehicles travelling along the East Barton road, and they may lead to speed signs alerting drivers they are entering a village.

Firemen had to cut the 34-year-old Saab driver from his vehicle yesterday before he could be taken to Bury's West Suffolk Hospital with suspected spinal injuries after his car was in collision with a milk float.

Last night, doctors said the driver, whose car careered off the village road and landed in a field off the B1106 at 6am, was in a critical condition.

The milk float ended up half on the field and half on the road, but the 39-year-old driver and 42-year-old passenger walked away with only minor injuries.

This comes less than a week after a horrific lorry crash on the A14 at Rougham near Bury St Edmunds, which left two men in a critical condition in hospital - they are now stable and improving.

Three airmen from Lakenheath RAF base are also said to be improving in hospital after the car they were driving hit a tree on Undley Road in the village on October 7.

Police are appealing to witnesses to the accidents - anyone with information should call Bury Roads Policing Unit on 01284 774100.

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