Hampshire Constabulary 'let the public down' says police and crime commissioner Simon Hayes

Daily Echo: Police 'let the public down' says commissioner Police 'let the public down' says commissioner

YOU let the public down.

That was the damning verdict of Hampshire’s police and crime commissioner last night as he pledged to take the chief constable to task over the chaos that followed a fatal crash on the A31.

Simon Hayes spoke out after hundreds of drivers were left stranded in their cars for almost seven hours while police investigated the tragedy sparked by a runaway horse that collided with two motorcyclists.

Couples with small children were among those marooned without food or water in near freezing conditions until 1am yesterday.

Mr Hayes accused police of ignoring the welfare of drivers.

Last night it emerged that the way officers dealt with the incident, in allowing traffic to move while the animal remained at large, has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Police initially halted traffic on the A31 after receiving reports of a horse loose on the carriageway – then advised drivers to proceed with caution.

The crash that followed just an hour later claimed the life of a 31- year-old Bournemouth man, while a 47-year-old Broadstone man was taken to Southampton General Hospital with serious injuries.

Mr Hayes told the Daily Echo: “Tragically, someone was killed, and the accident had to be investigated thoroughly.

“I can understand why the road was closed, but I also recognise that hundreds of drivers had their journeys disrupted for a number of hours, and I’m concerned that their personal welfare was not considered at that time.

“I’ll be challenging the chief constable on what could or should have been done to support people stuck in the jam and will be looking for answers.

“It would appear that no lessons were learned after the M27 had to be closed at Hedge End last year, but we need to learn lessons this time.

“People were stuck on the A31 for several hours with no food or water and no access to toilets.

“Their personal welfare does not appear to have been considered. I don’t know who could or should have addressed that but I’m concerned at the apparent lack of interest in the welfare of the public.”

Mr Hayes also criticised the lack of information given to commuters.

He said: “It would be unfair to expect police to give an exact time in terms of re-opening a road, but we need to put some sort of mechanism in place to ensure that motorists k n o w w h a t ’ s happening in situations like this.”

Mr Hayes said experts should look at ways of providing drivers on the A31 with an escape route if a carriageway has to be closed.

“Removing parts of the barrier to enable traffic to turn around would appear to be a common sense solution, but I don’t know if that would be possible.

It’s something we need to look into.”

The accident and resulting chaos has fuelled the campaign for major improvements to the A31.

The comments came yesterday when two further incidents involving escaped ponies happened – one on the A31 and another near Bartley – both of which were later captured.

Mr Hayes added: “It’s an extremely dangerous road for a number of reasons, including the fact that drivers come straight off a motorway on to a dual carriageway that’s narrow.

“It’s a road that needs an enormous amount of attention and reengineering.”

Victims of the chaos included Winchester-based graphic designer Mark Fudge, 45, who left work at 5pm and eventually arrived home at 1.35am. He told the Daily Echo: “I feel the police have got a lot of questions to answer.

“Luckily I had half a tank of fuel and was able to switch the engine on every 15 minutes to keep warm, but I had no food or drink.

There’s only so long you can run your engine to try to keep warm and still have enough fuel to get home. The couple in front of me had two children aged only five or six - goodness knows what they did.

“At 12.30am a policeman knocked on my window and said the traffic would be moving shortly but it was 1.05am before we were turned around. Even then there was no signed diversion once you got back to Junction 1, so anyone unfamiliar with the Forest roads would have been stuck.

“The police need to answer some serious questions on their handling of the situation and howthey plan to deal with similar accidents in the future.”

Decision referred to police complaints commission

POLICE today defended their actions in dealing with the fatal crash but said they will be looking to see what lessons they can learn.

Chief constable Andy Marsh, pictured left, has also said he will welcome talks with PCC Simon Hayes to discuss the fallout of the incident that left hundreds of drivers stranded.

Hampshire police told the Daily Echo last night that its officers had done a “very professional job in difficult and complex circumstances”.

However, they have asked the Independent Police Complaints Commission to review their decision to allow drivers to “proceed with caution” as they attempted to capture the runaway horse that ultimately caused the crash that killed the motorcyclist and left another seriously injured.

In a lengthy statement, Superintendent Chris Brown, the man in charge of roads policing in the county, said the decision to shut any major road is never taken lightly – but a thorough investigation was vital for the victim’s family as well as any future criminal proceedings.

He said: “We sent all available officers to the scene swiftly, and they worked hard to get the scene moving as soon as possible, including turning vehicles round and providing police-led relief diversions.

“This was a very complicated scene. We were dealing with what looked at the time to be a potential double fatal and the death of a horse on a main road, all of which had to be recovered with great care and diligence, and the scene forensically examined.”

Acknowledging that the impact on people was “huge” because of the road it happened on, Supt Brown said it would have been “difficult and frustrating” for drivers but unavoidable because of the large volume of traffic using the A31 at rush hour.

Calls for escape gaps in road

CAMPAIGNERS are calling for gaps to be created in the central reservation on the A31 to prevent
similar chaos in the future.

Former cross-over points were closed several years ago after a police motorcyclist was killed in
an accident caused by someone doing a U-turn.

One of the openings is still in use, allowing westbound traffic to join the opposite carriageway
and take the road to the Rufus Stone.

But all the others have been closed off, including those at Mogshade Hill, Stoney Cross and Bratley Plain, denying traffic an emergency escape route if one of the carriageways has to be shut.

However, the Tarmac beneath the crash barrier is still in place and is used by contractors  carrying out major repairs to the A31.

Photographer Simon Rowley, of Burley, said: “It should be possible to create openings every few
miles. It might only be a question of undoing a few bolts – and it wouldn’t cost a lot of money.”

Ringwood councillor Michael Thierry, who has spent years campaigning for improvements to the A31, expressed similar views.

He said: “I’m not in favour of permanently re-opening the crossings but it might be possible to create gaps in the centre, allowing part of the crash barrier to be removed in an emergency.”

“Vehicles would be able, under supervision, to cross the central reservation and head back the
way they came.”

Last year Government ministers said they were “minded” to reduce the speed limit on the A31
from 70mph to 50mph but went back on their word after talks with the Highways Agency.

Campaigners had to be content with a pledge to improve signage – but are still waiting for the
work to be carried out with Highways Agency bosses saying it will be complete by the end of
this year.

Comments (19)

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12:14pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Hampshire Corn and Bread says...

Let's hope some good comes of this tragic incident.

Also, thoughts are with the poor coppers who decided to re-open the carriageway; something they'll never forget.
Let's hope some good comes of this tragic incident. Also, thoughts are with the poor coppers who decided to re-open the carriageway; something they'll never forget. Hampshire Corn and Bread

12:25pm Fri 24 Jan 14

G0Rf says...

We quite often say it to the ref....but "You dont know what your doing!" springs to mind.

PS Reducing the speed limit on this road is not the thing to do, it will damage the local economey.
Stop trying to wrap people up in cotton wool, we should all be responsible adults?
We quite often say it to the ref....but "You dont know what your doing!" springs to mind. PS Reducing the speed limit on this road is not the thing to do, it will damage the local economey. Stop trying to wrap people up in cotton wool, we should all be responsible adults? G0Rf

12:34pm Fri 24 Jan 14

The Mad Dog says...

Nice to see Simon Hayes supporting Hampshire Police. What a twonk!
I find it unbelievable he can make such a statement, which surely can only be based on what he has read/heard on the local media.
I am certain that the police would have been able to do a much better job if they had unlimited resources. There was even one motorist suggesting the police could have provided the stuck motorists with cups of tea! FFS, what world do some people live in. At least those who were delayed actually got home, lets not forget that a motorcyclist wasn't that fortunate.
Nice to see Simon Hayes supporting Hampshire Police. What a twonk! I find it unbelievable he can make such a statement, which surely can only be based on what he has read/heard on the local media. I am certain that the police would have been able to do a much better job if they had unlimited resources. There was even one motorist suggesting the police could have provided the stuck motorists with cups of tea! FFS, what world do some people live in. At least those who were delayed actually got home, lets not forget that a motorcyclist wasn't that fortunate. The Mad Dog

1:11pm Fri 24 Jan 14

jimbos says...

Police commissioners are a waste of money.
Police commissioners are a waste of money. jimbos

3:24pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Captain Dun says...

When the traffic was released after the first horse search, maybe a police car could have led them for the first few miles at 30mph, i.e. a rolling roadblock enforcing the need to drive with caution?
When the traffic was released after the first horse search, maybe a police car could have led them for the first few miles at 30mph, i.e. a rolling roadblock enforcing the need to drive with caution? Captain Dun

3:52pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Mary80 says...

Some people are just selfish they knew there was a reason why the road was closed yet still whine "me me me i was stuck in traffic, i should have been told what was going on". The police had 2 major incidents to deal with its not their job to mollycoddle drivers and pat them on the head, and yeah someone DIED some people should drop their attitude "the police inconvenienced me" Yeah well tell that to the family of the man who died and see how far the self piting whining gets you
Some people are just selfish they knew there was a reason why the road was closed yet still whine "me me me i was stuck in traffic, i should have been told what was going on". The police had 2 major incidents to deal with its not their job to mollycoddle drivers and pat them on the head, and yeah someone DIED some people should drop their attitude "the police inconvenienced me" Yeah well tell that to the family of the man who died and see how far the self piting whining gets you Mary80

5:14pm Fri 24 Jan 14

befriendly says...

It's all operational procedures these days so no one is to blame and when somethings not in the book chaos ensues. They say they'll learn from tragic accidents like this one but never do and while I agree with Mary 80 above on the me, me, me attitude of people seven hours to investigate and clear up is still far to long, but having said that I haven't read the operational procedures manual.
It's all operational procedures these days so no one is to blame and when somethings not in the book chaos ensues. They say they'll learn from tragic accidents like this one but never do and while I agree with Mary 80 above on the me, me, me attitude of people seven hours to investigate and clear up is still far to long, but having said that I haven't read the operational procedures manual. befriendly

5:25pm Fri 24 Jan 14

klappdrachen says...

To all the people criticising the stranded motorists, may I suggest that tonight you and your children sleep in your car all night and see how YOU like it.
The police could have investigated the crash to the fullest extent AND done something to get the traffic flowing again, i'm sure of that.
Years ago the BBC showed a film called The Day Britain Stopped, a work of fiction about 'a perfect storm' of road works, traffic accidents, and a train strike which snowballed into total gridlock on the roads.
In one scene motorists on the M25 were stationary for hours, unattended by the police, and old folk in the queue developed hypothermia. At the time I thought that part of the film was a little far-fetched, but if some folk spent seven hours in their cars yesterday, I've been proven wrong.
To all the people criticising the stranded motorists, may I suggest that tonight you and your children sleep in your car all night and see how YOU like it. The police could have investigated the crash to the fullest extent AND done something to get the traffic flowing again, i'm sure of that. Years ago the BBC showed a film called The Day Britain Stopped, a work of fiction about 'a perfect storm' of road works, traffic accidents, and a train strike which snowballed into total gridlock on the roads. In one scene motorists on the M25 were stationary for hours, unattended by the police, and old folk in the queue developed hypothermia. At the time I thought that part of the film was a little far-fetched, but if some folk spent seven hours in their cars yesterday, I've been proven wrong. klappdrachen

5:27pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Mary80 says...

klappdrachen wrote:
To all the people criticising the stranded motorists, may I suggest that tonight you and your children sleep in your car all night and see how YOU like it.
The police could have investigated the crash to the fullest extent AND done something to get the traffic flowing again, i'm sure of that.
Years ago the BBC showed a film called The Day Britain Stopped, a work of fiction about 'a perfect storm' of road works, traffic accidents, and a train strike which snowballed into total gridlock on the roads.
In one scene motorists on the M25 were stationary for hours, unattended by the police, and old folk in the queue developed hypothermia. At the time I thought that part of the film was a little far-fetched, but if some folk spent seven hours in their cars yesterday, I've been proven wrong.
Someone DIED i think that trumps being stuck on the road for a few hours, you got home to your family the motorbiker rider that died will NEVER get to do that
[quote][p][bold]klappdrachen[/bold] wrote: To all the people criticising the stranded motorists, may I suggest that tonight you and your children sleep in your car all night and see how YOU like it. The police could have investigated the crash to the fullest extent AND done something to get the traffic flowing again, i'm sure of that. Years ago the BBC showed a film called The Day Britain Stopped, a work of fiction about 'a perfect storm' of road works, traffic accidents, and a train strike which snowballed into total gridlock on the roads. In one scene motorists on the M25 were stationary for hours, unattended by the police, and old folk in the queue developed hypothermia. At the time I thought that part of the film was a little far-fetched, but if some folk spent seven hours in their cars yesterday, I've been proven wrong.[/p][/quote]Someone DIED i think that trumps being stuck on the road for a few hours, you got home to your family the motorbiker rider that died will NEVER get to do that Mary80

5:59pm Fri 24 Jan 14

klappdrachen says...

Mary80 wrote:
klappdrachen wrote:
To all the people criticising the stranded motorists, may I suggest that tonight you and your children sleep in your car all night and see how YOU like it.
The police could have investigated the crash to the fullest extent AND done something to get the traffic flowing again, i'm sure of that.
Years ago the BBC showed a film called The Day Britain Stopped, a work of fiction about 'a perfect storm' of road works, traffic accidents, and a train strike which snowballed into total gridlock on the roads.
In one scene motorists on the M25 were stationary for hours, unattended by the police, and old folk in the queue developed hypothermia. At the time I thought that part of the film was a little far-fetched, but if some folk spent seven hours in their cars yesterday, I've been proven wrong.
Someone DIED i think that trumps being stuck on the road for a few hours, you got home to your family the motorbiker rider that died will NEVER get to do that
All I'm saying is that the police could have done something for the stranded people, to get them moving. There could have been elderly folk susceptible to the cold, children, people that needed medication.
It's not about 'inconvienience' it could have been very serious to some peoples health, and god forbid, there could have been another serious medical emergency. I'm fully aware someone died, I just think that this was so badly handled someone else may have.
[quote][p][bold]Mary80[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]klappdrachen[/bold] wrote: To all the people criticising the stranded motorists, may I suggest that tonight you and your children sleep in your car all night and see how YOU like it. The police could have investigated the crash to the fullest extent AND done something to get the traffic flowing again, i'm sure of that. Years ago the BBC showed a film called The Day Britain Stopped, a work of fiction about 'a perfect storm' of road works, traffic accidents, and a train strike which snowballed into total gridlock on the roads. In one scene motorists on the M25 were stationary for hours, unattended by the police, and old folk in the queue developed hypothermia. At the time I thought that part of the film was a little far-fetched, but if some folk spent seven hours in their cars yesterday, I've been proven wrong.[/p][/quote]Someone DIED i think that trumps being stuck on the road for a few hours, you got home to your family the motorbiker rider that died will NEVER get to do that[/p][/quote]All I'm saying is that the police could have done something for the stranded people, to get them moving. There could have been elderly folk susceptible to the cold, children, people that needed medication. It's not about 'inconvienience' it could have been very serious to some peoples health, and god forbid, there could have been another serious medical emergency. I'm fully aware someone died, I just think that this was so badly handled someone else may have. klappdrachen

6:32pm Fri 24 Jan 14

B. L. says...

The Mad Dog wrote:
Nice to see Simon Hayes supporting Hampshire Police. What a twonk!
I find it unbelievable he can make such a statement, which surely can only be based on what he has read/heard on the local media.
I am certain that the police would have been able to do a much better job if they had unlimited resources. There was even one motorist suggesting the police could have provided the stuck motorists with cups of tea! FFS, what world do some people live in. At least those who were delayed actually got home, lets not forget that a motorcyclist wasn't that fortunate.
Just out of curiosity, what is the knowledge of Police procedures and operations of this twonk (as you so aptly put it). Has he had service in the Police or is he just another Raiment character who has no idea and only wants a fat cat salary for the position.
Another query, what do Chief Constables do now that the running of the Constabulary has been taken over by these geniuses ?
Just asking.
[quote][p][bold]The Mad Dog[/bold] wrote: Nice to see Simon Hayes supporting Hampshire Police. What a twonk! I find it unbelievable he can make such a statement, which surely can only be based on what he has read/heard on the local media. I am certain that the police would have been able to do a much better job if they had unlimited resources. There was even one motorist suggesting the police could have provided the stuck motorists with cups of tea! FFS, what world do some people live in. At least those who were delayed actually got home, lets not forget that a motorcyclist wasn't that fortunate.[/p][/quote]Just out of curiosity, what is the knowledge of Police procedures and operations of this twonk (as you so aptly put it). Has he had service in the Police or is he just another Raiment character who has no idea and only wants a fat cat salary for the position. Another query, what do Chief Constables do now that the running of the Constabulary has been taken over by these geniuses ? Just asking. B. L.

6:49pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Charlie Bucket says...

Mary80 wrote:
Some people are just selfish they knew there was a reason why the road was closed yet still whine "me me me i was stuck in traffic, i should have been told what was going on". The police had 2 major incidents to deal with its not their job to mollycoddle drivers and pat them on the head, and yeah someone DIED some people should drop their attitude "the police inconvenienced me" Yeah well tell that to the family of the man who died and see how far the self piting whining gets you
Oh give it a rest. It's not your place to tell everyone they have no right to feel inconvenienced.
[quote][p][bold]Mary80[/bold] wrote: Some people are just selfish they knew there was a reason why the road was closed yet still whine "me me me i was stuck in traffic, i should have been told what was going on". The police had 2 major incidents to deal with its not their job to mollycoddle drivers and pat them on the head, and yeah someone DIED some people should drop their attitude "the police inconvenienced me" Yeah well tell that to the family of the man who died and see how far the self piting whining gets you[/p][/quote]Oh give it a rest. It's not your place to tell everyone they have no right to feel inconvenienced. Charlie Bucket

6:54pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Mary80 says...

Charlie Bucket wrote:
Mary80 wrote:
Some people are just selfish they knew there was a reason why the road was closed yet still whine "me me me i was stuck in traffic, i should have been told what was going on". The police had 2 major incidents to deal with its not their job to mollycoddle drivers and pat them on the head, and yeah someone DIED some people should drop their attitude "the police inconvenienced me" Yeah well tell that to the family of the man who died and see how far the self piting whining gets you
Oh give it a rest. It's not your place to tell everyone they have no right to feel inconvenienced.
I hope to god the bikers' family don't read any of the comments made here they are disgusting and yes the drivers have no right to moan again the person is DEAD, expired, no longer with us the drivers weren't permanently injured they weren't killed the biker WAS people for christ sake. You all got to go home to your family he's DEAD i cant' grasp why people are so selfish. Staggers my mind that most here would rather p!ss and moan about their own needs and not bother to show a shred of decency for the poor guy who died
[quote][p][bold]Charlie Bucket[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mary80[/bold] wrote: Some people are just selfish they knew there was a reason why the road was closed yet still whine "me me me i was stuck in traffic, i should have been told what was going on". The police had 2 major incidents to deal with its not their job to mollycoddle drivers and pat them on the head, and yeah someone DIED some people should drop their attitude "the police inconvenienced me" Yeah well tell that to the family of the man who died and see how far the self piting whining gets you[/p][/quote]Oh give it a rest. It's not your place to tell everyone they have no right to feel inconvenienced.[/p][/quote]I hope to god the bikers' family don't read any of the comments made here they are disgusting and yes the drivers have no right to moan again the person is DEAD, expired, no longer with us the drivers weren't permanently injured they weren't killed the biker WAS people for christ sake. You all got to go home to your family he's DEAD i cant' grasp why people are so selfish. Staggers my mind that most here would rather p!ss and moan about their own needs and not bother to show a shred of decency for the poor guy who died Mary80

7:35pm Fri 24 Jan 14

klappdrachen says...

B. L. wrote:
The Mad Dog wrote:
Nice to see Simon Hayes supporting Hampshire Police. What a twonk!
I find it unbelievable he can make such a statement, which surely can only be based on what he has read/heard on the local media.
I am certain that the police would have been able to do a much better job if they had unlimited resources. There was even one motorist suggesting the police could have provided the stuck motorists with cups of tea! FFS, what world do some people live in. At least those who were delayed actually got home, lets not forget that a motorcyclist wasn't that fortunate.
Just out of curiosity, what is the knowledge of Police procedures and operations of this twonk (as you so aptly put it). Has he had service in the Police or is he just another Raiment character who has no idea and only wants a fat cat salary for the position.
Another query, what do Chief Constables do now that the running of the Constabulary has been taken over by these geniuses ?
Just asking.
A very good point BL. I think the non-existant turn out in the police commissioner election showed that most people were unaware of the role they played, and were cynical of the post.
[quote][p][bold]B. L.[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Mad Dog[/bold] wrote: Nice to see Simon Hayes supporting Hampshire Police. What a twonk! I find it unbelievable he can make such a statement, which surely can only be based on what he has read/heard on the local media. I am certain that the police would have been able to do a much better job if they had unlimited resources. There was even one motorist suggesting the police could have provided the stuck motorists with cups of tea! FFS, what world do some people live in. At least those who were delayed actually got home, lets not forget that a motorcyclist wasn't that fortunate.[/p][/quote]Just out of curiosity, what is the knowledge of Police procedures and operations of this twonk (as you so aptly put it). Has he had service in the Police or is he just another Raiment character who has no idea and only wants a fat cat salary for the position. Another query, what do Chief Constables do now that the running of the Constabulary has been taken over by these geniuses ? Just asking.[/p][/quote]A very good point BL. I think the non-existant turn out in the police commissioner election showed that most people were unaware of the role they played, and were cynical of the post. klappdrachen

8:32pm Fri 24 Jan 14

biggus2 says...

Simon Hayes you haven't got a clue have you. How are you going to re engineer the road. Is it the Police/s job to give out tea and biscuits you seem to think that should be their priority. Do you know what it takes and how many resources it takes to close that road and turn around the traffic to go back down in the wrong direction. No Sir YOU are completely CLUELESS, Have you any Idea where all those resources came from to deal with that incident NO you are just spouting off your usual rubbish. Clearly no consideration for the family of the biker, the people who were caught up in the incident and least of all YOUR Police resources who attended.
Simon Hayes you haven't got a clue have you. How are you going to re engineer the road. Is it the Police/s job to give out tea and biscuits you seem to think that should be their priority. Do you know what it takes and how many resources it takes to close that road and turn around the traffic to go back down in the wrong direction. No Sir YOU are completely CLUELESS, Have you any Idea where all those resources came from to deal with that incident NO you are just spouting off your usual rubbish. Clearly no consideration for the family of the biker, the people who were caught up in the incident and least of all YOUR Police resources who attended. biggus2

8:37pm Fri 24 Jan 14

dolomiteman says...

Maybe the solution would be to drag the bodies into the ditch to allow the traffic to continue to flow unhindered, then the police could put an ad in the local press giving 7 days notice that the road will be closed for the removal of the bodies/ cars and the pending investigation. that way the motorist get home on time and the police get their investigation done.

And no I'm not being serious, someone lost their live, both lanes were blocked on a road with nowhere to turn around. the police need to investigate it properly and there are not enough officers to deal with something like this so put up with it and be thankful it wasn't one of your loved ones who has died.
Maybe the solution would be to drag the bodies into the ditch to allow the traffic to continue to flow unhindered, then the police could put an ad in the local press giving 7 days notice that the road will be closed for the removal of the bodies/ cars and the pending investigation. that way the motorist get home on time and the police get their investigation done. And no I'm not being serious, someone lost their live, both lanes were blocked on a road with nowhere to turn around. the police need to investigate it properly and there are not enough officers to deal with something like this so put up with it and be thankful it wasn't one of your loved ones who has died. dolomiteman

2:59pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Frogham Ferret says...

Who let the horse loose?
Who let the horse loose? Frogham Ferret

7:25pm Sat 25 Jan 14

dolomiteman says...

Frogham Ferret wrote:
Who let the horse loose?
A damaged section of fencing apparently. the Highways agency are responsible for the fencing on that stretch of road but it is as yet unclear as to how the fencing was damaged.
[quote][p][bold]Frogham Ferret[/bold] wrote: Who let the horse loose?[/p][/quote]A damaged section of fencing apparently. the Highways agency are responsible for the fencing on that stretch of road but it is as yet unclear as to how the fencing was damaged. dolomiteman

9:08pm Sun 26 Jan 14

ClaireEByrne says...

I was in that traffic, and one of the last to be turned around to leave. It was tragic that the horse and biker died, and another man injured. It was a horrific accident that I believe could have been prevented.

On the other side of it though, spending more than 7 hours in my car with no heat, food, drink, 10 hours in total by the time I got home, was awful. I was scared on my own, there were no facilities, and no one checked on us - particularly the infirm and young children - 7 hours is a dangerous amount of time for young children and babies to be cold and thirsty.

I drove back along that road today, and it made me feel very uneasy. I was shaking, heart racing and felt physically sick. You can't tell me that's just an 'inconvenience'. You want to judge how it felt? Absolutely, go sit in your car on your own in the dark for 7 hours and I'd be delighted to hear your opinion.
I was in that traffic, and one of the last to be turned around to leave. It was tragic that the horse and biker died, and another man injured. It was a horrific accident that I believe could have been prevented. On the other side of it though, spending more than 7 hours in my car with no heat, food, drink, 10 hours in total by the time I got home, was awful. I was scared on my own, there were no facilities, and no one checked on us - particularly the infirm and young children - 7 hours is a dangerous amount of time for young children and babies to be cold and thirsty. I drove back along that road today, and it made me feel very uneasy. I was shaking, heart racing and felt physically sick. You can't tell me that's just an 'inconvenience'. You want to judge how it felt? Absolutely, go sit in your car on your own in the dark for 7 hours and I'd be delighted to hear your opinion. ClaireEByrne

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