Stradishall: Campaigner calls for curbs on 60 mph road

A CHARITY founder has launched a campaign aimed at getting drivers passing through his village to slow down and to persuade local authorities to reconsider the 60mph speed limit.

Tony Gearing, who lives next to the A143 at Stradishall, says he felt compelled to do something following a collision on the road last week, the latest in a string of accidents to take place on the stretch.

He said: “We moved to the area less than two years ago, and in that time we have picked a mother and baby out of their car in a ditch over the road, found bits of vehicles that have mounted the kerb on our verge, and seen the road closed for accidents. A neighbour told us he knew of at least three deaths to have occurred along here over the past 20 years.”

In response, Mr Gearing has invited his neighbours and other people affected by speeding on the A143 between Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds to join him in a campaign called ‘Take a minute, save a life.’ His particular focus is a two-mile stretch of the road - from the Stars and Jars shop to the hill down to the closed Plumbers Arms pub at Wickhambrook - where there are no speed restrictions in place.

He added: “At 60mph it takes two minutes to drive this stretch of road. Yet it passes a number of busy junctions and the entrances to many homes and businesses. Each one is an accident waiting to happen, and an 60mph someone, possibly everyone involved, is likely to die.

“If drivers were to slow down to 40mph accidents are less likely to happen and the participants have a greater chance of surviving.”

Ironically, Mr Gearing, 52, is a former national newspaper journalist who used to write about motorcycling for the Independent newspaper. He now spends his time running the charity he founded called Young People of the Year, which aims to champion the good work carried out by young people, which often gets overlooked.

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He has set up an online petition as part of the road speed campaign, which can be found at ipetitions.com/petition/A143Stradishall.

He says if he gets 100 signatures he plans to call a public meeting about the issue and invite local councillors and the emergency services to take part.

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