Calls to tackle 'appalling' A31 accident rate

The aftermath of last week's fatal crash on the A31.

The aftermath of last week's fatal crash on the A31.

First published in News

New Forest councillors
were today
set to discuss calls
for action to make
one of Hampshire’s
busiest roads safer.
Ringwood Town Council
was taking a motion to
New Forest District
Council’s full council
meeting urging members
to support their quest for
“vital” improvements on
the A31.
Highways Agency chiefs
are being asked to tackle
the “appalling” accident
rate on the road, made
even more poignant following
the death of 53-
year-old Ringwood man
Ross Lipsett last Tuesday.
He died when his BMW
crashed into a stationary
lorry parked in a lay-by on
Poulner Hill.
The motion, presented
by all four district councillors
– Steve Rippon-
Swaine, Christine Ford,
Michael Thierry and
Barbara Woodifield – says
the town council has deep
concerns about the number
of accidents on the
A31 from Picket Post to
Ashley Heath roundabout.
It urges the Highways
Agency to review, in consultation
with Ringwood
Town Council, measures
to improve the road.
Cllr Thierry said: “This
is a campaign that has
been going for nearly four
years, but has really started
to get moving now.
“The A31 has a dismal
and appalling accident
rate and we need to do
something about it.
“There are a number of
issues that need to be
looked at including the
bus stops along the road
that aren’t used, the speed
limit and the lack of
appropriate signage.
“What we don’t want to
happen is for them to look
at it and then just send us
a letter. We want to get
around a table and explain
the problems face-to-face
and seek solutions from
them. We believe the road
has been neglected by the
Highways Agency and the
time is well overdue for
them to come and take a
look at it.”
More than 1,000 people
signed a petition calling
for the proposed improvements
which include
reducing the speed limit
from 70mph to 50mph,
creating a crawler lane
eastbound and better
signs advising drivers to
get into the right lane earlier.
A spokesman for the
Highways Agency said:
“We are very happy to talk
to local councillors at any
time about their concerns.”

Comments (16)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:50pm Mon 22 Oct 12

Niel says...

Good luck with getting the Highways Agency to do anything useful. They allowed the contractors to 'mill' the concrete sections of the M27 with the direction of flow, even though their published specification state's it should be TRANSVERSE to stop tram-lining. And up north they are in the process of appointing new contractors on a cost only basis, which will mean the safety crews (incident support units) will be being made redundant!
Good luck with getting the Highways Agency to do anything useful. They allowed the contractors to 'mill' the concrete sections of the M27 with the direction of flow, even though their published specification state's it should be TRANSVERSE to stop tram-lining. And up north they are in the process of appointing new contractors on a cost only basis, which will mean the safety crews (incident support units) will be being made redundant! Niel
  • Score: 0

2:05pm Mon 22 Oct 12

sotonbusdriver says...

Everyone one of the accidents on the A31 can easily be put down to a failure of one of the drivers to drive correctly and with due care and attention.
It doesn't matter what the speed limit will be set at, accidents on that road will still occur...
The problem is not speed, but that if you take a proper look, most drivers are so far up the car in fronts bumper, that they leave themselves NO room to react.
Maybe the introduction of chevrons to assist drivers with correct spacing, more active police patrols, actually issuing tailgating fines.
I have used that road safely for many years, and seen some of the very stupid things that other drivers do, but because I have left room for myself, I can react and stop, or move lanes before the impact would of happened.
Everyone one of the accidents on the A31 can easily be put down to a failure of one of the drivers to drive correctly and with due care and attention. It doesn't matter what the speed limit will be set at, accidents on that road will still occur... The problem is not speed, but that if you take a proper look, most drivers are so far up the car in fronts bumper, that they leave themselves NO room to react. Maybe the introduction of chevrons to assist drivers with correct spacing, more active police patrols, actually issuing tailgating fines. I have used that road safely for many years, and seen some of the very stupid things that other drivers do, but because I have left room for myself, I can react and stop, or move lanes before the impact would of happened. sotonbusdriver
  • Score: 0

3:10pm Mon 22 Oct 12

rednwhite42 says...

No symathy along this stretch. I stick to the left hand lane cruising at 60/70 mph. Drivers do easily 80/90 mph in the right hand lane and drive so quick that they dont read the traffic ahead and get to close to car in front that they brake which starts the affect. Then cars are bumper to bumper. If drivers slowed down along this stretch then it wouldnt be too bad. Why drivers have to speed along here makes me think how there has not been more accidents.
No symathy along this stretch. I stick to the left hand lane cruising at 60/70 mph. Drivers do easily 80/90 mph in the right hand lane and drive so quick that they dont read the traffic ahead and get to close to car in front that they brake which starts the affect. Then cars are bumper to bumper. If drivers slowed down along this stretch then it wouldnt be too bad. Why drivers have to speed along here makes me think how there has not been more accidents. rednwhite42
  • Score: 0

3:50pm Mon 22 Oct 12

miltonarcher says...

Take action against drivers who hog the right hand lane, (the overtaking lane), tailgaters, drivers using their front fog lights when there is no fog, drivers undertaking. As a matter of interest, what are the "appalling" accident figures for this stretch of road?
Take action against drivers who hog the right hand lane, (the overtaking lane), tailgaters, drivers using their front fog lights when there is no fog, drivers undertaking. As a matter of interest, what are the "appalling" accident figures for this stretch of road? miltonarcher
  • Score: 0

3:54pm Mon 22 Oct 12

espanuel says...

Nothing wrong with the road, read (sotonbus driver) he is 100% right.
Nothing wrong with the road, read (sotonbus driver) he is 100% right. espanuel
  • Score: 0

3:57pm Mon 22 Oct 12

Cyber__Fug says...

miltonarcher wrote:
Take action against drivers who hog the right hand lane, (the overtaking lane), tailgaters, drivers using their front fog lights when there is no fog, drivers undertaking. As a matter of interest, what are the "appalling" accident figures for this stretch of road?
So basically you would like all BMW and Audi drivers banned from using the road.....
[quote][p][bold]miltonarcher[/bold] wrote: Take action against drivers who hog the right hand lane, (the overtaking lane), tailgaters, drivers using their front fog lights when there is no fog, drivers undertaking. As a matter of interest, what are the "appalling" accident figures for this stretch of road?[/p][/quote]So basically you would like all BMW and Audi drivers banned from using the road..... Cyber__Fug
  • Score: 0

4:13pm Mon 22 Oct 12

miltonarcher says...

Cyber__Fug wrote:
miltonarcher wrote:
Take action against drivers who hog the right hand lane, (the overtaking lane), tailgaters, drivers using their front fog lights when there is no fog, drivers undertaking. As a matter of interest, what are the "appalling" accident figures for this stretch of road?
So basically you would like all BMW and Audi drivers banned from using the road.....
Why?
[quote][p][bold]Cyber__Fug[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]miltonarcher[/bold] wrote: Take action against drivers who hog the right hand lane, (the overtaking lane), tailgaters, drivers using their front fog lights when there is no fog, drivers undertaking. As a matter of interest, what are the "appalling" accident figures for this stretch of road?[/p][/quote]So basically you would like all BMW and Audi drivers banned from using the road.....[/p][/quote]Why? miltonarcher
  • Score: 0

4:28pm Mon 22 Oct 12

Stdenysta says...

miltonarcher wrote:
Take action against drivers who hog the right hand lane, (the overtaking lane), tailgaters, drivers using their front fog lights when there is no fog, drivers undertaking. As a matter of interest, what are the "appalling" accident figures for this stretch of road?
There is no such thing as an overtaking lane on a dual carriage way, undertaking is quite legal. Maybe if people knew how to drive and took notice of the highway code there would be fewer accidents.
[quote][p][bold]miltonarcher[/bold] wrote: Take action against drivers who hog the right hand lane, (the overtaking lane), tailgaters, drivers using their front fog lights when there is no fog, drivers undertaking. As a matter of interest, what are the "appalling" accident figures for this stretch of road?[/p][/quote]There is no such thing as an overtaking lane on a dual carriage way, undertaking is quite legal. Maybe if people knew how to drive and took notice of the highway code there would be fewer accidents. Stdenysta
  • Score: 0

4:53pm Mon 22 Oct 12

ohec says...

Stdenysta wrote:
miltonarcher wrote:
Take action against drivers who hog the right hand lane, (the overtaking lane), tailgaters, drivers using their front fog lights when there is no fog, drivers undertaking. As a matter of interest, what are the "appalling" accident figures for this stretch of road?
There is no such thing as an overtaking lane on a dual carriage way, undertaking is quite legal. Maybe if people knew how to drive and took notice of the highway code there would be fewer accidents.
Stdenysta
Could you please tell me when they made undertaking legal in this country,i am not saying your wrong but its news to me.
I have always considered it to be a very dangerous practise and even if it was legal its not something i would do, and if people are using the road correctly then it would be unnecessary anyway.
137

On a two-lane dual carriageway you should stay in the left-hand lane. Use the right-hand lane for overtaking or turning right. After overtaking, move back to the left-hand lane when it is safe to do so.
[quote][p][bold]Stdenysta[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]miltonarcher[/bold] wrote: Take action against drivers who hog the right hand lane, (the overtaking lane), tailgaters, drivers using their front fog lights when there is no fog, drivers undertaking. As a matter of interest, what are the "appalling" accident figures for this stretch of road?[/p][/quote]There is no such thing as an overtaking lane on a dual carriage way, undertaking is quite legal. Maybe if people knew how to drive and took notice of the highway code there would be fewer accidents.[/p][/quote]Stdenysta Could you please tell me when they made undertaking legal in this country,i am not saying your wrong but its news to me. I have always considered it to be a very dangerous practise and even if it was legal its not something i would do, and if people are using the road correctly then it would be unnecessary anyway. 137 On a two-lane dual carriageway you should stay in the left-hand lane. Use the right-hand lane for overtaking or turning right. After overtaking, move back to the left-hand lane when it is safe to do so. ohec
  • Score: 0

4:55pm Mon 22 Oct 12

miltonarcher says...

ohec wrote:
Stdenysta wrote:
miltonarcher wrote:
Take action against drivers who hog the right hand lane, (the overtaking lane), tailgaters, drivers using their front fog lights when there is no fog, drivers undertaking. As a matter of interest, what are the "appalling" accident figures for this stretch of road?
There is no such thing as an overtaking lane on a dual carriage way, undertaking is quite legal. Maybe if people knew how to drive and took notice of the highway code there would be fewer accidents.
Stdenysta
Could you please tell me when they made undertaking legal in this country,i am not saying your wrong but its news to me.
I have always considered it to be a very dangerous practise and even if it was legal its not something i would do, and if people are using the road correctly then it would be unnecessary anyway.
137

On a two-lane dual carriageway you should stay in the left-hand lane. Use the right-hand lane for overtaking or turning right. After overtaking, move back to the left-hand lane when it is safe to do so.
St Denysta, please note the entry from the Highway Code. Perhaps you need a refresher course!
[quote][p][bold]ohec[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Stdenysta[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]miltonarcher[/bold] wrote: Take action against drivers who hog the right hand lane, (the overtaking lane), tailgaters, drivers using their front fog lights when there is no fog, drivers undertaking. As a matter of interest, what are the "appalling" accident figures for this stretch of road?[/p][/quote]There is no such thing as an overtaking lane on a dual carriage way, undertaking is quite legal. Maybe if people knew how to drive and took notice of the highway code there would be fewer accidents.[/p][/quote]Stdenysta Could you please tell me when they made undertaking legal in this country,i am not saying your wrong but its news to me. I have always considered it to be a very dangerous practise and even if it was legal its not something i would do, and if people are using the road correctly then it would be unnecessary anyway. 137 On a two-lane dual carriageway you should stay in the left-hand lane. Use the right-hand lane for overtaking or turning right. After overtaking, move back to the left-hand lane when it is safe to do so.[/p][/quote]St Denysta, please note the entry from the Highway Code. Perhaps you need a refresher course! miltonarcher
  • Score: 0

5:20pm Mon 22 Oct 12

ohec says...

The ideal solution would be to extend the M27 to link up with the M5 that would solve no end of problems that arise from poor overcrowded roads across Hampshire Dorset and Devon, but of course that will never happen so we are stuck with the roads we have, the A31 between the M27 and Heath Ashley is not a bad road it is a very busy road and an extremely fast road and that is the basic problem but unless the road is Policed then the deaths will just continue, a speed camera at the M27 end one at Ringwood and one at Ashley Heath going west and the opposite going east would solve a lot of problems.
The ideal solution would be to extend the M27 to link up with the M5 that would solve no end of problems that arise from poor overcrowded roads across Hampshire Dorset and Devon, but of course that will never happen so we are stuck with the roads we have, the A31 between the M27 and Heath Ashley is not a bad road it is a very busy road and an extremely fast road and that is the basic problem but unless the road is Policed then the deaths will just continue, a speed camera at the M27 end one at Ringwood and one at Ashley Heath going west and the opposite going east would solve a lot of problems. ohec
  • Score: 0

5:54pm Mon 22 Oct 12

ALDEBARAN says...

There is enough space to turn the road into an A31 .
There is enough space to turn the road into an A31[M] . ALDEBARAN
  • Score: 0

6:50pm Mon 22 Oct 12

dorsetspeed says...

The recent fatal was very unfortunate but can someone explain how you "improve the road" so that people don't drive their cars into parked lorries? The reality is that on busy main roads you will get accidents, injuries and deaths. No matter how much we want to reduce accidents, it is pointless pursuing unrealistic or zero accident counts. Any accident rate is undesirable but what we need to know is how does the rate on this road compare to what we should expect? The “we have to do something because someone got killed” logic is simplistic in the extreme and will not bring the right results. I hope the Ringwood councillors have some proper experience and knowledge in this area or at least the sense to seek it if they don’t – sadly, the experience in Poole is that councillors are arrogant, incompetent and simply ignore mistakes even when they are explained to them countless times and carry on making more mistakes.
The recent fatal was very unfortunate but can someone explain how you "improve the road" so that people don't drive their cars into parked lorries? The reality is that on busy main roads you will get accidents, injuries and deaths. No matter how much we want to reduce accidents, it is pointless pursuing unrealistic or zero accident counts. Any accident rate is undesirable but what we need to know is how does the rate on this road compare to what we should expect? The “we have to do something because someone got killed” logic is simplistic in the extreme and will not bring the right results. I hope the Ringwood councillors have some proper experience and knowledge in this area or at least the sense to seek it if they don’t – sadly, the experience in Poole is that councillors are arrogant, incompetent and simply ignore mistakes even when they are explained to them countless times and carry on making more mistakes. dorsetspeed
  • Score: 0

7:23pm Mon 22 Oct 12

Forest Resident says...

The A31 is long overdue a significant redesign or upgrade to allow it to continue serving as the main Hampshire/Dorset artery. These accidents would happen regardless of any minor change to signage/lighting etc, its high time the government thought seriously about a western extension of the M27 motorway bypassing the bottlenecks at Ringwood, Ferndown, Merley and countless others. The volume of cars on the A31 is reaching a critical point, I sincerely hope someone in authority has the foresight to realise the obvious solution of building a better road rather than simply trying to tax motorists off of the road!
The A31 is long overdue a significant redesign or upgrade to allow it to continue serving as the main Hampshire/Dorset artery. These accidents would happen regardless of any minor change to signage/lighting etc, its high time the government thought seriously about a western extension of the M27 motorway bypassing the bottlenecks at Ringwood, Ferndown, Merley and countless others. The volume of cars on the A31 is reaching a critical point, I sincerely hope someone in authority has the foresight to realise the obvious solution of building a better road rather than simply trying to tax motorists off of the road! Forest Resident
  • Score: 0

9:03pm Mon 22 Oct 12

biggus2 says...

There is nothing wrong with the road. Too many drivers travelling too fast too close. The trouble is even a minor collision causes chaos with that volume of traffic reduced to one lane.
There is nothing wrong with the road. Too many drivers travelling too fast too close. The trouble is even a minor collision causes chaos with that volume of traffic reduced to one lane. biggus2
  • Score: 0

7:02am Tue 23 Oct 12

SotonNorth says...

I do not think any road safety measures could have stopped this accident from happening. I am not sure if it was raining at the time, but the driver was a local who would have known the road well, and for some reason his car left the road and hit a parked lorry in a layby. I can take a guess as to the cause, given that it happened in the early hours, and that is tiredness. I have first hand experience of driving tired, and when you're tired it's extremely difficult to stay in lane, and whether there are reduced speed limits or street lighting makes no difference when you're drifting away. As for arguments of drivers tailgating, that is an issue of a road that is overcapacity, where environmentalists and NIMBYs prevented the road from becoming the motorway it needs to be, but in the early hours of the morning you cannot use the argument of congestion and tailgating.
I do not think any road safety measures could have stopped this accident from happening. I am not sure if it was raining at the time, but the driver was a local who would have known the road well, and for some reason his car left the road and hit a parked lorry in a layby. I can take a guess as to the cause, given that it happened in the early hours, and that is tiredness. I have first hand experience of driving tired, and when you're tired it's extremely difficult to stay in lane, and whether there are reduced speed limits or street lighting makes no difference when you're drifting away. As for arguments of drivers tailgating, that is an issue of a road that is overcapacity, where environmentalists and NIMBYs prevented the road from becoming the motorway it needs to be, but in the early hours of the morning you cannot use the argument of congestion and tailgating. SotonNorth
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree