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Deputy Speaker backs A140 campaign

PUBLISHED: 13:46 19 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:35 03 March 2010

ONE of Suffolk's senior MPs today backed campaigners fighting to make the A140 safer.

Sir Michael Lord, whose Central Suffolk and North Ipswich constituency contains a large part of what is rightly known as the most most dangerous road in the county, told the Star of his disappointment that current safety measures, most recently at one blackspot at the Coddenham junction seem not to be working.

ONE of Suffolk's senior MPs today backed campaigners fighting to make the A140 safer.

Sir Michael Lord, whose Central Suffolk and North Ipswich constituency contains a large part of what is rightly known as the most most dangerous road in the county, told the Star of his disappointment that current safety measures, most recently at one blackspot at the Coddenham junction seem not to be working.

"I would have hoped that improvements that were made would have made some difference but clearly they haven't and something needs to be done."

Sir Michael's comments come as the deadly road witnessed two more serious accidents in seven days – and just yards apart.

Two men, Tony Cassidy, 47, of Norwich andTony Slattery, 17, from Basildon, were seriously injured when they were invovled in a head-on collision with a horsebox at Stoke Ash, near Eye.

Mr Cassidy is being treated in Ipswich Hospital and Mr Slattery remains in Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, where he was taken in a critical condition after the accident.

Mother-of-three nurse Kathy Sparkes continues to recover in Ipswich Hospital from serious injuries she sustained after her car was involved in an accident on March 7. She collided with a meat lorry and the wreckage of both vehicles ploughed into the nearby White Horse Inn.

The scene of these accidents is around ten miles north of the junction with the B1078 at Coddenham where Suffolk County Council has made safety alterations, including installing a speed camera and extending a 50mph speed limit.

Sir Michael, who is deputy speaker at the House of Commons and was knighted this year, extended his sympathies to accident victims and their families as he gave his backing to the Evening Star's Make the A140 Safer, campaign.

"I drive up and down the A140 all the time and I am very concerned at its problems," he said. "These accidents are terrible for everyone concerned. The great problem is driver awareness – I would support any campaign that would make drivers aware of how dangerous the road is."

Residents are lobbying for action to make it safer before there are any more serious accidents. Communities who live along the killer road point to reckless driving as one of the main contributors to the rising toll of death and injury. So far the tally of fatal accidents stands at 79 in the last 20 years. Eight people have died in the last five years alone.

Suffolk County Council, which took over responsibility of the road from the Highways Agency when it was de-trunked last May, has already ruled out installing a roundabout at the hazardous Stoke Ash junction.

However, its road chief David Chinery said that there is £1.3m to spend on improvements on both the A140 and the northern stretch of the A12 for consultation which will take place within the next two months.


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