Safety on A1 questioned following accidents

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Speeding drivers are putting lives at risk on the A1 following a number of serious accidents on the main road.

Since March 30 there have been five serious incidents on the stretch of road between Huntingdon and Grantham, which has resulted in one death and a number of serious injuries.

A spokesman for the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership said: “We have a number of places in our area where there are high numbers of serious incidents.

“People treat the road like it is a motorway, when there are a lot of turnings that take people across the carriageway.

“The last solution is putting in average speed cameras, but there are very high speeds on the road - much higher than the 70 mph limit.”

The fatal accident occurred on March 30 at Wittering, when Barry Rowland’s car crashed into a stationary lorry in a lay-by.

Mr Rowland, from Durham, died a day before another accident on the opposite carriageway at the same point, when another car crashed into a lorry in a lay-by.

North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara said he would be speaking to Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin about the issue. He said; “The A1 is one of Britain’s major roads and is of significant importance to many people including commuters, businesses and local residents going about their daily lives. There are a number of areas that require improvement and I am pleased that following representations I made to the Department for Transport and Highways England there are plans for resurfacing of the carriageway between Sibson and the junction with the A47 which is in a state of very poor repair.

“Sadly, there have been a number of serious accidents recently on both carriageways of the A1 at Wittering. I will be speaking again with the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, to press for an agreed solution to the road layout to make this section safer for both Wittering villagers and motorists travelling through.”

John Bridge, chief executive of Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, said: “While it is good the roundabouts disappeared a few years ago, the crossing points are very dangerous, especially at the Wittering air force base.

“Anything that can be done to make it safer should be looked at.”

Other accidents included a major lorry fire at Grantham, which saw the road closed on May 14 for a large numberof hours.

On May 5 a van driver suffered serious injuries in a collision with a lorry at the a14 junction near Huntingdon following a collision with two lorries.

However, a spokesman for the Highways Agency, who look after the road, said: “Safety is Highways England’s top priority and we regularly monitor safety on the A1 between Brampton and Grantham, as we do everywhere on our network.

“The A1 and A1(M) are designed and maintained to a very high standard, and we work hard to keep journeys on it safe and reliable.

“We have analysed recent accident data and can confirm that there are no significant safety concerns on any part of the A1 or A1(M) between Brampton Hut (A1/A14 interchange) and Wothorpe, in the East of England.

“We have however identified an area where there is a higher number of collisions near Stoke Rochford, on the East Midlands stretch of the A1 (between Wothope and the A1/A52 interchange at Grantham). As a result we are planning a safety camera scheme at this location for 2016/17.”

Resurfacing works are scheduled to take place on the A1 (M) between junction 16 at Norman Cross and junction 17 with the Fletton Parkway at Peterborough later in the summer.

Factfile: Accidents on the A1

The first major incident on the road in the past three months occurred on Monday, March 30 near the RAF base at Wittering.

Barry Rowland, (54), of Melbech Drive, Chester Le Street, Ouston, County Durham, suffered fatal injuries after the Audi A5 he was driving collided with a stationary lorry in a layby on the northbound carriageway at about 3.45pm

Barry’s daughter and her partner were also in the car at the time of the collision. Both were taken to Peterborough City Hospital with minor injuries and kept in overnight, but discharged the following day.

On Tuesday, March 31 there was another accident in a lay-by at Wittering on the A1, this time on the southbound carriageway.

A car collided with a stationary lorry.

The driver of the car escaped with minor injuries from the collision.

On Friday, April 3 there were two crashes on the A1 within the space of a couple of hours.

The first happened near the slip road at junction 17, when a car crashed off the road and into a ditch.

Emergency services worked to remove the car from the ditch, and the driver needed medical assistance and pain relief for injuries suffered.

The road was closed for a number of hours.

There were more delays on the northbound carriageway later in the day, when three cars collided at Wansford.

There were no injuries in the crash, which closed one lane and involved a Lexus, a BMW and a Skoda at 1.15pm. The road was cleared by 3pm

On May 5 a van driver suffered serious head injuries in a terrifying crash at the junction with the A14.

His vehicle was trapped between two lorries in the crash at 8am, and the road was not fully re-opened until 3pm.

The A1 was closed in both directions at Grantham near Marston on May 14 when two lorries collided.

While there were no serious injuries in the incident, more than 100 metres of the carriageway was badly damaged by fire in the incident.

The southbound carriageway of the road was closed for about 24 hours while the wreckage was cleared away, although the northbound side was re-opened a few hours after the collision. There were long diversions put in place while the resurfacing works were carried out at the scene.