New A12 calls as dead man named

FRESH calls were made last night for safety measures on the A12 after the death of a motorcyclist in north Suffolk.The man killed in the crash south of Wangford on Friday was named last night as 63-year-old Brian Spatchett, of Franklin Avenue, Aldeburgh.

FRESH calls were made last night for safety measures on the A12 after the death of a motorcyclist in north Suffolk.

The man killed in the crash south of Wangford on Friday was named last night as 63-year-old Brian Spatchett, of Franklin Avenue, Aldeburgh.

Now renewed calls have been made by some residents and councillors from Kessingland to Blythburgh for the A12 to be made safer.

Mr Spatchett was travelling on the southbound carriageway when he lost control of his Triumph motorcycle. He died at the scene at 9.20pm.


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The A12, which links Ipswich and Lowestoft, is believed to be particularly dangerous at Wangford where it changes from a single to a double carriageway and back again over a short bend.

It is the second death on stretch the road in ten months – the first being a 31-year-old Porsche driver – but opinions are mixed as to what should be done to reduce accidents in the future.

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Peter Austin, leader of Waveney District Council and councillor for Southwold and Reydon, would like the road to be dualled and straightened and bypasses built around villages, but cannot see it happening in the near future.

He said: "In the short term this is not a realistic aim so there may be more speed restrictions."

However, Eric Der Kinderen, owner of the Wangford veterinary clinic, commutes along the A12 everyday and does not think the road should be dualled.

He said: "If everything was dualled everyone would just drive faster. When people get to the dual carriageway at Wangford everybody tries to overtake on the large bend and they make judgement errors and silly things happen. I think better awareness of when the dual carriageway stops is needed but I also think it is more the mentality of the drivers than the road."

Linda Miller, part owner of Wangford Farm Shop, does not think lowering the speed limit is the answer.

She said: "It is more stupidity than speed. It is a very short piece of dual carriageway and everybody races along it as it is an opportunity to overtake. But if you're commuting and just want to go home, there's nothing worse than getting stuck behind someone who's going slowly."

Alex Gemmell, landlord of the Angel Inn, High Street, Wangford, thinks there should be a speed limit on the dual carriageway and two roundabouts installed at junctions at both ends of the village to slow the traffic down.

He said: "Drivers roar down the dual carriageway but there is just not enough road – it just runs out."

Karen O'Brien, sub postmaster of Wangford Post Office, agreed something should be done but did not know what.

She said: "The road is lethal at the moment and definitely needs to be made safer. The speeds people can get up to is ridiculous and the road seems to lend itself for those who want to speed. Whatever measures could be put into place to make it safer would be fantastic."

However, Ray Breach, Waveney district councillor for Kessingland, does not think there is a problem with the road.

He said: "Accidents are usually down to driver error. There may a speed element in some of them but I think most of the bad driving is done by slow drivers. I am strongly against speed restrictions. Ninety-nine percent of drivers drive within a safe speed and one percent drive over the limit. I do not think the road is an issue. Suffolk County Council are making it an issue and if they reduce the speed further no one will want to come into Lowestoft and Lowestoft will be strangled economically."

Blythburgh, south of Wangford, will soon be getting a 30mph speed limit – it currently stands at 40mph – imposed through the village.

Blythburgh parish councillor, Henrietta Maslen, who has lived on the A12 for 16 years, said: "Deaths on the A12 are horrendous and a lot is being done but the main thing is to get the police to police the speed limits properly."

An inquest into Mr Spatchett's death will open later this week and police are appealing for witnesses of the crash to contact Pc Gavin Sharp on 01986 835350.

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