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Fresh safety calls after four car crash on A31
4:00am Wednesday 21st August 2013 in News
A FOUR-car crash that shut a notorious Hampshire road and caused eight-mile tailbacks has today sparked fresh calls for new safety measures.
Ten people were involved in the collision on the A31 westbound at Poulner Hill yesterday morning which saw a female front seat passenger cut free from her Citroen Saxo.
This latest incident comes just a week after Ringwood Town Council were told their fight to slash the speed limit from 70mph to 50mph had failed.
That call came in the wake of the death of 16-year-old Jade Clark, who was killed after a collision involving her scooter on the same busy dual carriageway.
But roads minister Stephen Hammond said lowering the speed limit on the dual carriageway was unnecessary and Hampshire Police claimed they could not afford the £1.69million cost of trialling the new limit.
However, Ringwood councillor Michael Thierry, speaking following yesterday’s collision, called on the Highways Agency to install new warning signs on the A31 at the very least.
He said: “They have turned down the 50mph speed limit and we have to appreciate their reasons for doing that, even though local people think it is the wrong decision.
“There was a promise to improve signage for this year and that has not happened yet.
“I really believe it is urgent and my deeper concern is that it will be 2015 before we see anything.”
Mr Thierry said the Highways Agency hope signs will be in place by summer 2014, although an attached report gives a timeframe of 12 to 18 months once funding is secured.
“The poor people of Ringwood are blighted by the fact that we have slip roads that are inadequate, joining traffic from a standing start to 70mph, and I don’t see an end to these accidents.”
The woman cut from a car yesterday was taken to hospital complaining of neck and back pain while another was treated at the scene for minor injuries. The collision shut the road for about 40 minutes leading to massive traffic queues in both directions with congestion westbound backing up to the M27.
Ringwood resident Jacqueline Mullings, 70, of Ringwood, said after hearing sirens at about 11.30am she thought “oh no, not again”.
She said: “We have campaigned to get the speed down to 50 miles per hour.
“They have ignored us.
"Every day from about 3pm to 6pm there is a build-up of traffic but they’re travelling slowly. The rest of the time, it’s a bit of a rat race.”
She said the failure to bring down the speed limit was “ridiculous”.
“There are always accidents here,” she added.
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