Cyclist killed in crash horror

A WOMAN cyclist has died after she was knocked off her bike on a notorious “rat run” road in Suffolk.The unnamed woman, who is thought to be in her 30s, died at the scene of the accident after her bike was struck from behind by a white Vauxhall Astra van, at around 2.

A WOMAN cyclist has died after she was knocked off her bike on a notorious “rat run” road in Suffolk.

The unnamed woman, who is thought to be in her 30s, died at the scene of the accident after her bike was struck from behind by a white Vauxhall Astra van, at around 2.45pm yesterday.

The crash happened at an isolated spot on Cotton End Road, between Exning and Fordham, near Newmarket, which local residents have described as an “accident waiting to happen.”

Police said both the bike and the van were travelling in the same direction when the van hit the back of the bike and the impact tore the front wheel, spokes and handlebars from the rest of the bicycle.

Although the cyclist had not been formally identified yesterday it is believed she was from the local area.

It was the second serious accident on the region's roads in a matter of hours as a man sustained critical injuries after a collision between two cars on the eastbound slipway of the A14 at Risby, near Bury St Edmunds.

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Cotton End Road was immediately sealed off, with access allowed only to the few residents of the sparsely populated road, who said they were extremely disturbed but not surprised by the accident.

Rosemary Mullins, who lives in one of the handful of cottages close to the scene of the accident, said: “It's absolutely tragic that someone has lost their life, particularly at this time of year, and while I'm not a particularly religious person you hate to think of that poor woman's family and friends at Christmas.

“Unfortunately though, it's not a surprise that there's been an accident along here.

“People come down here at some terrible speeds and I'm afraid to take my dog out at night, there is just one street light and even during the day the visibility is bad because the sun never gets above the trees.”

Her neighbour Graham Bullen said the road had become something of a “rat run” for people commuting back and forth between Newmarket and Exning and he knew of at least one other person who had been knocked off their bike along the same stretch of road.

He added: “We've said often enough that it's an accident waiting to happen. “Every day the traffic starts early in the morning with a motorbike screaming along here at 70 or 80mph and then there's a steady stream of traffic until about 9.30am.

“When Fordham Road is closed or blocked everyone uses this as a shortcut, and it's the same in the evening.”

Mrs Mullins said she would like to see the 30mph speed limit which covers part of the otherwise unrestricted road extended to the spot where the accident happened and traffic calming measures introduced along the road.

Exning Parish councillor Don Levick, said he was “devastated” by the news of the woman's death and added the parish council had been pressing for a speed limit change along the road for at least the last three years.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council confirmed that the speed limit of Cotton End Road was currently under consideration and a decision on whether it would be reduced was imminent.

The driver of the van was “shocked” by the accident but was otherwise unharmed and was taken home by police.

Anyone who witnessed the accident is asked to contact Pc Paul Stock at the Bury St Edmunds road policing unit on 01284 774100.

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