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Avoid A140 - truckers urged

PUBLISHED: 14:35 10 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:01 03 March 2010

A SUFFOLK man who nearly lost his life on the A140 has called for lorries to be banned from taking cross-country shortcuts … just days after the deathtrap road claimed its 78th victim.

A SUFFOLK man who nearly lost his life on the A140 has called for lorries to be banned from taking cross-country shortcuts … just days after the deathtrap road claimed its 78th victim.

Stonham Aspal man, Brian Baker, was plunged into a four-and-half week coma after his car collided with a seven-and-a-half tonne lorry just a few hundred yards from where Maidstone trucker, Jason Parker, 30, died when his lorry flipped over a week ago today.

Today brave Mr Baker, who more than a year on is still suffering the effects of horrific injuries, urged the county council to stop lorries bypassing the A14 and driving across rural B-roads north of Ipswich.

"Lorries should be banned from using the junctions leading on to Coddenham and on to the A1120," he said. "They should be stopped from short-cutting the A14 as they try to get to Peasenhall and the A12."

His voice echoes the loud chorus of calls from campaigners, including MP Michael Lord, who demand action on the road with a deadly reputation.

Hopes of turning the length of it into a dual carriageway seem to have evaporated – and Suffolk County Council, who took responsibility for the de-trunked A140 in May this year, has spoken of its first concrete plans to implement new safety measures.

At the crucial junction with the B1078 highways chiefs propose to install a speed camera, extend the 50mph speed limit to the A14 roundabout, and "simplify" the flow of traffic at the crossing by allowing only northbound traffic to turn right towards Coddenham. All other traffic will be forced to use the Beacon Hill roundabout.

But this means the treacherous right turn towards Coddenham will be retained – and it was here on a misty August morning that, while a lorry performed this very same manoeuvre, that the life of ex-machinist Mr Baker changed forever. He said: "As far as I'm concerned the only way they can make that junction safe is by installing traffic lights or simply closing it.

"I can't see how these new measures can make any difference whatsoever."

Police are still investigating the accident last Monday which involved four vehicles after an articulated lorry toppled over.

None of the other drivers was hurt.

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www.suffolkcc.gov.uk


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