Hotel owner calls for A12 changes

A HOTELIER yesterday called for new warning signs on the A12 after a customer was killed in an accident.

Richard Smith

A HOTELIER yesterday called for new warning signs on the A12 after a customer was killed in an accident.

Michael Bunn, owner of the Seckford Hall Hotel, urged the county council to erect signs alerting drivers to the junction which leads to his hotel and Great Bealings.

He was speaking after one of his customers, 87-year-old Frederick Hadden, died on Sunday following an accident at about 2.30pm.

Mr Hadden, of Crofton Road, Ipswich, was driving a silver Ford Fiesta which was involved in a collision with a Mitsubishi Shogun at the junction with the C327 road to Great Bealings.

A woman passenger in the Fiesta also aged 87 was taken to Ipswich Hospital with serious injuries. Her condition is now said to be improving.

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Mr Bunn said the couple, who had Sunday lunch at the hotel, were well-known customers and Mr Hadden had run the Pompadours hair salon in Westgate Street, Ipswich.

Mr Bunn said he thought the junction was safe but warning signs were required on the north-bound carriageway of the A12 to alert drivers that there was a crossover junction ahead.

The C327 leads to Seckford Hall Hotel, and the junction of the C327 with the A12 is close to the roundabout which leads to Woodbridge.

Cars coming from Ipswich are funnelled into a singe lane on approaching the roundabout and then there is a short stretch of dual carriageway, leading to the junction, before it becomes a single carriageway.

Mr Bunn said: “Cars coming from Ipswich go up the hill towards the junction and they are all trying to race up to get in before the road becomes a single carriageway.

“They are not really taking into account the fact that there is a crossing and that in itself is a worry. The problem is that there is no advance warning of a crossing junction and I think the county council needs to put in warning signs about the junction and perhaps the speed limit ought to change.

“In the summer months that road is solid because they are all pushing up there and having to merge into one lane and they try to get through into the last little gap.''

A Suffolk county council spokesperson said: “There has been one previous injury accident during the last three years on this stretch of road.

“We are currently working on an A12 road safety route treatment which runs from the A14 Seven Hills roundabout north to the A1094 junction.

“As it is a long route the planned changes will be low cost measures such as changes to road signs and road markings. This road safety project is planned to be carried out in spring 2009. However, if the police accident investigators recommend any changes we will consider incorporating these into the planned works.”

Police are asking anyone who saw the collision to call Pc Gary Buss at the Serious Collision Investigation Team on 01473 613500.

Officers are particularly keen to trace a motorcyclist who may have stopped at the scene, and the driver of silver car, which is thought to have been following the Shogun at the time of the crash.

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