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Just 3% of accidents on A31 due to speed
9:42am Monday 9th September 2013 in News
ONLY three per cent of accidents on the busy A31 at Ringwood over three years were due to motorists speeding, a report claims.
The finding is contained in a study on which Stephen Hammond, Under Secretary of State for the Department of Transport, relied in turning down requests for a 50mph speed limit trial on the road.
In a letter to Ringwood council he said: “We all agree that the central issue is road safety and that improving safety for road users is our priority.
“With regard to a 50mph speed limit trial, the study findings clearly show that the vast majority of collisions occur during periods of heavy or stationary traffic, with only three per cent being attributed to vehicle speed (drivers travelling too fast for the conditions).
“For this reason, and given that the (Highways) Agency estimates that a trial would cost over £1million, I have taken the decision not to proceed with a speed reduction trial. Although I realise this may come as a disappointment, the evidence suggests that this is the correct conclusion.”
However, he did agree that improvements could be made to signs along the 70mph road, which has a number of junctions.
These should be in place by summer 2014.
“This should lead to reduced driver confusion, thus reducing driver error and the associated weaving manoeuvres that often cause collisions,” he said.
One of those to die on the notorious road was Jade Clark, 16, from Ringwood who was involved in a crash near the Ashley Heath roundabout.
Councillor Sophie Burgess- Kennar, chairman of Ringwood Town Council’s planning, town and environment committee, said: “Our main disappointment is the speed limit. We all know how dangerous that bit of road is. We don’t want people to think we are giving up.”
The committee is recommending to full council that a working party of three members liaises with the Highways Agency over signage. It recommends they take no further action over the speed limit at this stage but pursue a better standard of road.
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