Crash victim blames drivers not road

A MAN who was seriously injured in an accident at one of Suffolk's worst accident black spots has today defended the decision not to bypass it – blaming drivers, not the road for rising accident figures.

A MAN who was seriously injured in an accident at one of Suffolk's worst accident black spots has today defended the decision not to bypass it – blaming drivers, not the road for rising accident figures.

Arthur Battley, of Mayfield Way, Mendlesham, says he does not blame Suffolk County Council for refusing to spend millions on a bypass for the Stonham villages this week.

The 66-year-old broke part of his spinal cord in his neck following a crash on the A140 on August 26. He is still wearing a metal frame on his head.

He said: "It was not the road's fault, it was mine.


You may also want to watch:


"I've never been a great believer in blaming the road as it's always the driver – I've yet to see a lump of tarmac jump up and bite a car.

"It's a reasonably straight piece of road and if people drove how they ought to there wouldn't be a problem.

Most Read

"I'm not saying the villages wouldn't benefit from a bypass but I don't think it's necessary."

But Mr Battley is not in favour of the new speedlimit claiming it makes it difficult to pull out on to the road as traffic tends to come in never ending convoys.

Mr Battley and his wife Sheila have now decided to end their 15-year-old business of delivering papers to paper boys and girls in nearby villages because his injuries are preventing him from working.

He said: "It's about time I retired anyway I suppose.

"I've made some good friends which I'll miss but they have all sent lovely cards and letters saying they will miss me."

The county council left a bypass of the Stonhams out of its major transport plans as it did not think it met safety criteria set by the government. It said there would still need to be a junction at the A1120 and so still be prone to accidents.

It did vow to improve safety in other ways – including improving the A140/A1120 junction.

Anthony Fowler, Mid Suffolk district councillor for the Stonhams, said: "I was shocked the bypass wasn't chosen as one of the schemes because it has such an appalling accident record – not to mention how lives and properties have been blighted for so many years.

"I thought it had an extremely strong case.

"History shows this section of the A140 to be one of the most dangerous roads in Suffolk."

Do you agree with Mr Battley? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the website forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter