New crash at danger bridge

ANGRY residents are today calling for action after a car plunged off a railway bridge yards from the spot where a similar accident occurred just three weeks ago.

ANGRY residents are today calling for action after a car plunged off a railway bridge yards from the spot where a similar accident occurred just three weeks ago.

Residents living near the bridge at Ardleigh, near Colchester, fear if speed limits are not put in place the spot could become the scene of another Selby-style rail disaster.

Phil Sollars, 63, who lives near the bridge, said: "You hear the sound and know that it is an accident and come out of your house virtually looking for the worst.

"I think it is another Selby waiting to happen."

The car coming from the Colchester direction left the road shortly before midnight and careered onto the line just yards from where a lorry plummeted onto the track.

No train was involved but emergency services were at the scene and late night services were cancelled.

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Neighbours are campaigning for speed limits in a bid to avert a potential future disaster which could echo that of the Selby horror in February 2001 which claimed ten lives.

Just 27 days ago Ipswich lorry driver Bob Mortimer's Scania's lorry toppled onto its side on the same road between Ardleigh and Manningtree.

The cab became detached from its trailer and plunged 30 ft down an embankment and collided with a 1,000 tonne freight train heading towards Colchester.

Mr Sollar's neighbour Andrew Smith, 41, said: "It is unbelievable this accident happened so soon after the last one. We are worried. They (the authorities) were supposed to be taking urgent action. It obviously wasn't urgent enough.

"It just shows what can happen when people go too fast round the bend. Another Selby is inevitable.

"It could get to the stage when we are picking up the pieces of a major incident. It was so lucky that there are no fatalities. If the driver hit the wall we could have been picking up pieces of meat from the floor."

The residents are calling for reduced speed limit and cameras in a bid to avoid a potential disaster.

Police were alerted at 11.40 pm after the car travelling from Colchester careered off the bridge onto the track, knocking down a stench pipe and electric box as it went.

Mr Sollars said accidents happen regularly as motorists misjudged the bend, with cars usually ending up on the grass verge.

"Cars just charge down here," said Mr Sollars, a horticulturist. "We used to keep a first aid box and band aids," he said. "Cars just come too fast round the corner. For every one of those accidents that goes reported there are ten that are not.

"Somebody has to do something and very quickly. I have been living here for 20 years and it just is not getting any better.

"It this latest incident happened during the daytime the possibility of a major incident would have increased. At least at night the incident was much less, although freight traffic goes through."

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