Call for action over A14 crashes

MAJOR questions were being asked today after an accident on the Orwell Bridge caused gridlock around Ipswich for hours.Although the accident happened at lunchtime, motorists were still suffering problems nearly four hours later as the rush-hour began.

By Richard Cornwell

MAJOR questions were being asked today after an accident on the Orwell Bridge caused gridlock around Ipswich for hours.

Although the accident happened at lunchtime, motorists were still suffering problems nearly four hours later as the rush-hour began.

Today the Star is calling for action and quicker retrieval of vehicles from A14 crashes to avoid Suffolk's main arterial road and streets around Ipswich becoming gridlocked after thousands of motorists found themselves stuck in the aftermath.

The congestion on the A14 stretched all the way back to Seven Hills and even as far as Trimley St Martin for a time, affecting the A12 from Woodbridge, too, while the A1156 through Ipswich was also gridlocked along with other town centre roads.

But police said it was not a quick process to re-open the road and there were many procedures to go through, including detailed investigations of the cause of an accident in case of a prosecution or to prevent future incidents.

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Inspector Trevor Sharman, in charge of the traffic police at force HQ, said first priority was those who were injured or trapped in vehicles.

He said: “Sometimes removing people from vehicles can be quite rapid but at other times it is difficult and lengthy procedure. Everyone involved has to concentrate on this as a priority immediately after an accident.”

Thousands of motorists faced delays after the three-vehicle crash which has left a man with serious head injuries.

The accident took place on the westbound carriageway at around 12.45pm yesterday and involved a Ford Mondeo, a lorry and a van, causing the road to be closed and severe tailbacks.

Two other men were also injured, although not seriously.

During the incident, the Orwell Bridge was closed both ways so the air ambulance could land at the scene.

Three fire engines from Ipswich attended the crash to release the victim from the wreckage.

A man who had been in the car was airlifted to Ipswich Hospital suffering head wounds, spinal injuries and a smashed rib cage.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary described his condition as serious but said it was not believed to be life-threatening.

Neil Waller, who piloted the East Anglian Air Ambulance, said landing the aircraft on the Orwell Bridge was technically difficult.

He said: “The wind was across the bridge rather than all of its length and approaching was difficult. “There was more turbulence than anything.

“Paramedics dealt with a seriously injured gentleman who is in a serious condition at Ipswich Hospital. “The accident was quite serious and required considerable skills.

“We landed on the eastbound carriageway as not to block it from firefighters.”

Do you think the road should have been opened quicker? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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