Contact the Bridport News with your stories, pictures and video footage. Send us an email
Appeal for road safety overhaul
THE loss of two lives within five days on the same stretch of road near Bridport has prompted calls for a rethink on road safety policy across the county.
The death of a woman critically injured in a caravan crash near Askerswell over the bank holiday weekend has added urgency to calls from Dorset’s Police and Crime Commissioner for a complete review.
Martyn Underhill has called a meeting to potentially rewrite the road safety strategy to address the number of serious and fatal accidents.
The move came after a 49-year-old man died when his van was in collision with two other vehicles on the A35 trunk road on August 19.
Just days later, on the same stretch of road, a 48-year-old mother was badly injured when the caravan-towing Land Rover Discovery she was travelling in overturned at 1.05pm on Saturday.
The woman, who was from the Poole area, was airlifted to Southampton Hospital but died on Tuesday morning.
She was with her husband and young son when their car overturned and rolled several times.
Her 52-year-old husband, who was driving, suffered minor injuries and was taken along with their 11-year-old son, to Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester.
The incident has brought the total number of deaths on Dorset’s roads to 19 so far this year.
Last year there were 25 in total.
The two fatal collisions brought holiday traffic to a standstill in and around Bridport as police set up lengthy diversions.
Mr Underhill, who has made the issue of safety on the county’s roads one of his priorities, said: “I’m very concerned about the potential increase in road deaths we are seeing.
“We need to change our focus and that’s why I have called a seminar in September to bring all the partners around the table to review the strategy for keeping people safe on the roads.
“I can find no evidence to suggest it is linked to the reduction in traffic officers but it is clear there is potentially a rise in the number of people being killed or seriously injured on our roads.
“Funding has been cut dramatically – from £2.5million to around £500,000 and that means we need to re-write our strategy.”
He added: “I am very interested in getting health agencies more involved as well.
“There is evidence that some of these incidents have been linked to health issues and I think there is a bigger role for these authorities to play.
“We need to engage GP surgeries as well and look at the situation as a whole.”
Mary BullMary Bull, who lives near the site of the crash at Woodland Farm Kennels, said: “Let us hope that this meeting will see some improvements to this road.
“Maybe we need more speed limit signs or preventative measures. It is extremely sad that this woman has died.
“To have two fatal smashes so near to each other in distance and time is awful, something needs to be done.”
West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin is already chairing a group looking at speed and traffic issues on the A35 around Bridport.
- Dorset Police are appealing for witnesses to the crash on Saturday. A spokesman for Dorset Police said: “One of the passengers, a 48-year-old woman from the Poole area, who had suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to Southampton General Hospital sadly died on Tuesday morning. Officers are renewing their appeal for witnesses to the collision or the manner of driving of the vehicle prior to the collision to contact PC Gareth Blaken of Weymouth Traffic on 101 quoting incident number 24:277.”
Comments are closed on this article.