Horror crash prompts bypass calls

By Liz HearnshawCAMPAIGNERS have increased their calls for safety improvements along a notorious stretch of road after a horrific accident left one man fighting for his life and two others in hospital.

By Liz Hearnshaw

CAMPAIGNERS have increased their calls for safety improvements along a notorious stretch of road after a horrific accident left one man fighting for his life and two others in hospital.

The collision, which it is believed was a head-on smash, happened at about 12pm yesterday on the A143 at Great Barton near Bury St Edmunds – a road described as "dreadful" by villagers who have been fighting for a bypass.

It happened when a red Citroen car, carrying a man and a woman, was involved in a collision with a Jaguar sports car on a sharp bend leaving the village – at the spot where 62-year-old taxi driver Sid Adams was killed four months ago when his car collided with a coach.

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Firefighters were called to the scene to cut the man and woman – who have not been named – free from the wreckage of their Citroen.

The man was then flown by the East Anglian Air Ambulance to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. He suffered head, abdominal, leg and possible spine injuries and his condition was described yesterday as "critical".

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The woman, who suffered serious, but not life threatening, injuries, was taken to the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds by ambulance, as was the driver of the Jaguar, who suffered minor injuries in the incident.

The accident has prompted further calls for safety improvements along the A143 from the residents of Great Barton, who have fought a long battle for a bypass around their village without success.

They said the already "horrendous" volume of traffic using the road would only increase when furniture giant Ikea builds a warehouse in nearby Stanton – leading to more misery and further accidents.

Margaret Horbury, who serves the village on St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: "We have campaigned vigorously for the bypass and are just hoping Suffolk County Council will listen to us, as they are the only ones who can set the wheels in motion.

"The A143 is a dreadful road and it gets busier and busier each day. It really is a horrendous state of affairs. There is a nasty bend on the road and drivers cannot see who is coming in the opposite direction.

"It is a dreadful thing to say, but it seems that death is the only thing which will make things happen. We have got the prospect of Ikea looming, which will just create extra traffic making things infinitely worse."

But Steve Williams, landlord of the Bunbury Arms pub on the A143 at Great Barton, said better signage would help ease the problem – and argued a bypass was not necessary.

"This is a bad stretch of road that needs something doing to it desperately. Lots of accidents happen on the corner and the dips and curves along the road make people think the route is clear when there is actually something coming," he added.

"I think speed cameras, like the ones placed at the Haughley Bends, would be a good idea as it seems to be working on the A14, with no more lives taken, thankfully.

"But I can't see the point of cutting up more countryside to replace it with tar for a bypass. Traffic calming and more warning signs would make more sense to me."

Anyone who witnessed the accident should contact Bury St Edmunds traffic police on 01284 774100.

n A driver suffered serious injuries after his car left the road and collided with a tree.

The man, from the Bury St Edmunds area, was travelling through Icklingham, near Mildenhall, when the accident happened at about 1.45am on Saturday.

Fire crews cut the trapped man from the wreckage of his Honda Civic car and he was taken by ambulance to the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said the man had suffered serious injuries, including a scalp wound and a suspected broken knee, but they were not life-threatening.


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