Ipswich: Number of crashes at accident blackspot fall

ROAD smashes at an accident blackspot have dropped considerably in the last year, figures released today have revealed.

The statistics, revealed by Suffolk Constabulary, showed there were a total of 21 traffic collisions on the A14 Orwell Bridge last year compared to 29 in 2010.

Last year’s collisions comprised 14 damage-only and six minor injury accidents as well as one serious injury crash in 2011.

This is in comparison to 22 damage-only, seven minor injury and no serious injury collisions in 2010.

The section of road is classed as one of the most dangerous stretches in the county and there were another two accidents along there in recent weeks.

Sergeant Julian Ditcham, of Suffolk Constabulary’s roads policing unit, said: “Road traffic collisions and broken-down vehicles can cause problems on the Orwell Bridge as there is no place for motorists to pull off the carriageway owing to the presence of nearside crash barriers.

“Therefore the disruption to traffic caused by the recovery of the vehicle or vehicles and clearing of any collisions can be greater than elsewhere.”

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Crashes on the bridge, which is defined as the three kilometre stretch of the A14 between the lay-bys at either end of the raised section, can cause traffic chaos with minor prangs in rush hour sometimes creating miles of tailbacks on the A14 and A12 and gridlock in Ipswich town centre.

Sgt Ditcham added: “It is pleasing to see a reduction in the number of reported incidents when compared to last year, however we would always remind people to keep their distance between each others’ vehicles.

“During peak times motorists can find that there is congestion on the bridge and slow moving traffic, which can result in people driving to close to the car in front.

“If motorists drive sensibly and to the conditions then collisions resulting in long delays can be avoided.”

The latest incident came yesterday and caused rush hour misery after an accident involving three cars on the westbound carriageway at around 7.55am.

One lane of the carriageway was closed as a result of the accident and it was cleared within 10 minutes with no serious injuries reported.

n What do you think can be done to ease congestion on the A14? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk