New campaign on accident blackspots

THOUSANDS of pounds are today being ploughed into investigating accident black spots on roads around Ipswich.

THOUSANDS of pounds are today being ploughed into investigating accident black spots on roads around Ipswich.

Suffolk County Council has erected temporary signs at notorious locations, including the scene where Ipswich teenager Sophie Underwood lost her life in November last year.

It is hoped the “Accident Site Under Investigation” signs will prevent further incidents while officials probe the possibilities for making improvements.

A report to the Suffolk Roadsafe Board claims the average cost of an accident that results in an injury is £90,000, whereas the total cost of making and installing the signs at the 13 locations across Suffolk is around £17,000.

“If this work saves one accident from occurring, it will return the investment more than five times,” the report added.

However, the true cost of road collisions can be incalculable, as the devastated family and friends of Miss Underwood experienced after the 18-year-old was killed in Foxhall Road.

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The former Copleston High School pupil was involved in a three-car horror smash at what is now one of the sites under investigation at the junction with Bell Lane, Kesgrave, near the waste recycling centre.

One of Sophie's friends, Harriet Atkinson, 18, of Needham Market, has lobbied for Suffolk County Council to make the road safer. Speaking to The Evening Star in April, she said: “I will do anything to ensure the speed limit is reduced in the area and improve the road conditions.”

Another site, on the bend of the B1080 just north of Holbrook near Latimer Cottages has been the scene of four accidents that caused injuries in the last three years.

Ipswich High School headteacher Elaine Purves suffered life-changing injuries when she was hit by a drunk-driver while travelling in her car along that road in December 2006.

There was also a collision between two buses, just further north near Turkey Farm Cottages earlier this year.

Anneka Hardy, spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council, said the process of investigating the sites, acquiring funding and making alterations could take anywhere between six and 18 months, depending on the complexity of the scheme.

“It is hoped their presence will prevent further accidents during this time. We will monitor the effectiveness of these signs and report our findings back to the board,” she added.

Other sites include the A1071 junction with the B1070 in Hadleigh, Dock Gate no.2 at Felixstowe docks and Ipswich Road in Grundisburgh.

Do you think these investigations are worthwhile? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to