Nurse calls for A140 safety steps

A NURSE badly injured in a horrific accident on the A140 one year ago has hit out at an alleged lack of action to make it safer.Her comments came after yet another crash on the road yesterday , in which a 42-year-old motorist from Mendlesham was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries.

By John Howard

A NURSE badly injured in a horrific accident on the A140 one year ago has hit out at an alleged lack of action to make it safer.

Her comments came after yet another crash on the road yesterday , in which a 42-year-old motorist from Mendlesham was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries.

The accident at Brockford, near Eye, left the road closed in both directions and resulted in hours of delays for motorists.

Last night, nurse Kathy Sparkes, left critically injured following a crash on the Stoke Ash section of the road 12 months ago, said she believed more could have been done to make the A140 safer.

She said: "I do not think anything has been done, it still looks exactly the same as it did a year ago. I am no expert on roads and do not know what would make it better, but there must be something.

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"There have been several accidents since mine. Any road can be dangerous, but when you have got the major port for East Anglia and our only city, you think something would be done to make the route between the two better."

Mrs Sparkes was left in Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge fighting for her life after an accident between her car and a lorry.

The 37-year-old, from Church View in Wyverstone, has been receiving help at the Icanho brain rehabilitation centre in Stowmarket, but has since returned to work in Eye after making a good recovery.

"I am getting back to normal and am back at work now, although I do have memory problems. Icanho have been absolutely brilliant helping me," she said.

In yesterday's accident, the driver of a Ford Focus was taken by air ambulance to Ipswich Hospital while the lorry driver was treated for shock and minor injuries.

Sergeant Steve Brooks, of Suffolk police, said officers did not yet know what had caused the accident.

The county council took responsibility for the Suffolk section of the A140 in 2001, as well as the A12 between Ipswich and Lowestoft, when the Government removed their trunk road status.

A spokeswoman said they were acquiring land to make improvements at Stoke Ash and wanted to put an extra lane in place to allow people to turn off the road more safely.

She said Mrs Sparkes' accident has added to the pressure to improve the stretch of road, adding they also wanted to put in a 30mph limit at Brockford.

She said there are also going to be three speed cameras put on the A140, one a mobile camera south of Stoke Ash.

However, the spokeswoman added a lot of accidents were down to driver errors and people driving too fast.

She said: "Extensive consultation carried out on this route has resulted in an action plan that we believe will lead to major improvements.

"The consultation highlighted road safety is the greatest priority. This can be achieved through new speed limits, junction improvements, and improving road signs.

"An action plan for the next ten years has been put together following the consultation, subject to funding. Plans include improvements at junctions along the A140, introducing a 50mph speed limit and install flashing driver signs, which identify speeding cars by a laser, to remind drivers to watch their speed and keep their distance."

She added: "Since taking over responsibility of the road the county council has already taken action to reduce A140 accidents by improving the B1078 Coddenham junction and installing a speed camera.

"We have also spent more than £500,000 this year on resurfacing works and maintenance, as well as carrying out a major study of the 16 mile Suffolk stretch.

"Our capital expenditure settlement from central government, announced on December 10, has allocated a minimum of £2.26 million for improvements on the de-trunked sections of the A12 and the A140 for 2003/4."

The A140 was also the scene of another accident on Thursday at Thwaite, near Eye, which left four people needing hospital treatment.

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