Miles Cross A35 crash renews calls for action on the accident blackspot

Three-car crash renews calls for safety improvements at Miles Cross

Coun David Tett wants to see a roundabout at Miles Cross

First published in News

THE latest accident at the Miles Cross junction on the A35 has strengthened calls to get action at the accident blackspot.

A man suffered chest injuries in the three-car collision at around 1pm on Saturday.

The 66-year-old was treated at the scene but his injuries were not thought to be life-threatening.

The crash involved a Volvo registered to a Southampton man, an Audi registered to a Bridport man and a Peugeot, registered to the injured man, who was also from Bridport.

The junction at Symondsbury has been a cause for major safety concerns in recent years, and MP Oliver Letwin chaired a meeting at the end of January involving organisations and councils to discuss traffic improvements at the site.

Mr Letwin, who has made the case for a roundabout or other road improvements at Miles Cross for the past decade, said cost had always been an issue but with new factors to consider – the proposed Waste Transfer site at Broomhills and the possibility of 750 new homes at Vearse Farm – there was increasing strength to the argument for major improvements.

The junction has had a history of fatal and serious collisions since the A35 ring road skirting Bridport was opened 25 years ago.

Since 2003, there have been more than one fatality, five serious and eight slight injury accidents at the site. Although according to Andy Roberts from the Highways Agency this number did not make it a ‘cluster site’.

He said at the public meeting in January that safety was continually monitored.

Bridport town councillors have already demanded that a roundabout should be installed.

Excessive speed and driver confusion have been highlighted as major problems on that stretch of the A35.

While acknowledging the cost of a roundabout Deputy Mayor Geoffrey Ackerman said something had to be done before someone else dies.

He said: “Something needs to be done before there is another fatality.

“It is a dreadful place, you take your life in your hands when you are up there, it is very dangerous.

He added there were very likely to be more minor accidents than made the accident statistics.

He said the roundabout would become imperative when the waste transfer site and new homes came together.

Coun David Tett said: “Yet another accident at the Miles Cross black spot! How many more are there to be before the Highways Agency take action and install a roundabout at this junction?

“I have been fighting for one since 2000 but, regrettably, my words have fallen on deaf ears.

“I am absolutely convinced that nothing short of a roundabout is necessary to stop the stupidity.

“Since this stretch of the A35 was opened, we have had no less than ten deaths and two serious accidents. Enough is enough.”

Clerk to Symondsbury parish council David Wragg said the accident served to emphasise the problem at Miles Cross.

But he said it was doubtful the Highways Agency could afford a roundabout.

Another meeting scheduled by MP Oliver Letwin with representatives from West Dorset District Council, Dorset County Council, the Highways Agency and Dorset Police has to be postponed but is being re-convened on April 19.

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