Fears over road speeds

RESIDENTS in an Ipswich street have today highlighted the need for speed bumps following an accident involving a young girl.A 12-year-old girl was taken to hospital yesterday after she collided with a car outside the newsagents in Dickens Road, off London Road at about 9am.

RESIDENTS in an Ipswich street have today highlighted the need for speed bumps following an accident involving a young girl.

A 12-year-old girl was taken to hospital yesterday after she collided with a car outside the newsagents in Dickens Road, off London Road at about 9am.

The accident has prompted residents in the area to call for speed bumps in a bid to slow motorists down.

One resident said: “I'm not surprised something like this happened. This road is an accident waiting to happen.

“Many motorists fly down here as this road is used as a rat run between London Road and Hadleigh Road. If they are coming from Hadleigh Road going to London Road, they see the traffic lights changing and put their foot down.

“We need speed bumps or something.”

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Kethees Thana, who works at Dickens News and Off Licence, said: “She came in to buy a magazine before she went to school and went to walk across the road to her house when I heard the accident.

“Someone came and told me that a girl had been hurt and I rang for an ambulance. She had a scratch on her head and couldn't get up. I think it was quite a hard hit.”

Emergency services arrived at the scene and the girl, who lives in Dickens Road, was put in a neck brace and taken to Ipswich Hospital by a crew from the East of England Ambulance Trust. She was not believed to have been seriously injured.

Police arrived at the scene and talked to the driver.

If you saw the accident and can help police with enquiries, call Pc Adam Gibson at Ipswich Neighbourhood Response Team on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Do you think Dickens Road needs speed bumps? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Meanwhile Suffolk County Council has defended its use of a controversial road surface following a spate of accidents on the same stretch of road.

It is believed there could have been up to a dozen cases of motorists losing control of their cars at the same spot on the B1077 at Aspall, near Debenham.

One of those was retired ex-music teacher Jane Bramhall, who is now calling for a ban on the use of Stone Mastic Asphalt (SMA) which is used on roads throughout Suffolk and across the country.

The 60-year-old was travelling back from choir practice on the B1077, which she has been using for 27 years, when she lost control of her car.

“The car wheels just appeared to flip away from me and my car spun out of control and flipped into a hedge and left me suspended from the seat belt,” she said.

“I believe it is the road surface the council is using which made me crash. I have researched this on the internet and found that there have been many other cases across the country.”

Paul Watters, head of roads policy at the AA, said there can be problems with SMA shortly after it has been laid. “It does have this weakness that it can be slippery just after application and for a period of time after.

“There is an initial risk of higher skid resistance in the dry and the dry skid resistance can be similar to what a wet road would be like.”

Guy McGregor, portfolio holder for roads and transport at Suffolk County Council, said he has asked that the concerns of Mrs Bramhall and other motorists are looked into. “The main thing is the safety of people travelling on the road and we are looking very closely at this. At this stage we want to discover more about why the accidents occurred.

“I think it is too early to judge whether it is the material or not.”

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