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Families call for urgent action to prevent road deaths

By Western Gazette - South Somerset  |  Posted: September 20, 2012

Residents of Rodgrove, off Moor Lane, Wincanton, are calling for speed restrictions along the road

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Desperate families near Wincanton have pleaded with Somerset County Council to “save lives” on one of the region’s roads.

Residents of Rodgrove, a hamlet off Moor Lane, have called for the council to introduce immediate speed- reducing measures.

The plea follows last week’s Western Gazette when mother Debbie Jeffery, who was cut out of her car by emergency services after a collision on Moor Lane in June, called for action.

The road was blocked during rush hour on Tuesday morning after a vehicle overturned near the junction with Common Road.

Weeks ago, 19-year-old Nicola Parsons was killed on the same road after her Ford Ka was in collision with a Land Rover Freelander.

Simon Barfoot, of Rodgrove, has warned there will be further fatalities if action is not taken. He said: “Terrible things will happen again. The law of averages will always win.

“People who live off Moor Lane are aware so can manage the risk, but the people that get pulled out of the hedges are often those not familiar with the road.

“I recently saw two cyclists forced into the hedge to avoid a speeding car. If a child was there they wouldn’t have stood a chance.

“I have great sympathy with budget cuts but there is nothing proactive happening at the moment. If residents knew how much it would cost to bring in certain measures then the community could consider helping. These measures could save lives.”

Sue Vickery, also of Rodgrove, recalled a near miss which happened just days ago. She said: “As I was walking down the road a car came around the corner and brushed my arm.

“An inch further it would have taken my arm off. I was so shocked. This is a problem that is getting worse; even pulling out of my drive is difficult.”

Residents also complained that overgrown hedges significantly reduce visibility.

However, Terry Beale, of Somerset Road Safety, played down the likelihood of safety measures being introduced in the near future.

He said: “In relation to Moor Lane there have only been two collisions in the past five years, both of which were caused by driver error and resulted in casualties suffering slight injuries.

“Somerset County Council prioritises its engineering interventions.”

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  • jamking9999  |  September 21 2012, 2:40PM

    A lower speed limit would cost next to nothing and reduce risk significantly. Why is the council so resistant to lowering speed limits. Rural roads like this are just not suitable for a 60mph limit. A moment's misjudgement at 60mph on this road is clearly giving rise to a significant risk of serious injury, given the width, surroundings and bends. What about rounding a bend at high speed to be met by cyclists, horseriders and walkers, with inadequate time for the driver to respond appropriately or perhaps to overrespond and lose control. A lower speed limit would make everyone safer. It's time that single carriageway rural roads like this were made 50mph max. County Councils had to review speed limits on their road networks. Using collisions and serious injuries as the sole deciding factor is ridiculous. If people, and in particular vulnerable road users, feel unsafe using this road because of high speed traffic, then the speed limit is too high.

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