New probe into A14 aquaplaning

THE Highways Agency has launched a second investigation into safety on the A14 in Suffolk amid fresh reports of motorists aquaplaning - this time on a new £32 million stretch of the road.

John Howard

THE Highways Agency has launched a second investigation into safety on the A14 in Suffolk amid fresh reports of motorists aquaplaning - this time on a new £32 million stretch of the road.

The latest incidents happened on Sunday at the new Haughley bypass, and come just weeks after it emerged road chiefs were asked to examine the A14 around eight miles away at Rougham after a similar accident there.

A spokeswoman for the force said: “On Sunday afternoon we received two calls from motorists whose vehicles had left the A14 at Haughley. Both incidents were reported to us as aquaplaning.

“When units attended appropriate signage was put out to warn other motorists to slow down. No-one was hurt in either incident.

“We would urge motorists to drive appropriately for the conditions. Any stretch of road in the county could be liable to excess water if there is a sudden downpour, adverse weather conditions can affect the roads throughout Suffolk.”

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Police have notified the Highways Agency about the accidents, and an HA spokeswoman said: “We have been made aware of the issue and are investigating. Unfortunately there is not much we can say at this stage, because we are looking into what happened.”

Suffolk police had already asked the HA to examine the road near Rougham following reports that motorists aquaplaned when hitting pools of water.

Charlie Pipe, 19, broke her back and sustained other serious injuries when her car hit standing water, slid off the road and ploughed into a tree.

Her accident happened east of the Rookery Crossroads, where substantial road improvements took place 18 months ago.

David Ruffley, Bury St Edmunds MP, said he would be asking for a briefing from the Chief Constable, to see a copy of the accident reports, and will be writing to Highways Agency bosses.

He said: “I thought on the face of it, the work seemed an improvement. But we simply cannot have huge amounts of public money and energy spent on something that is anything less than top class.”

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