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Fresh safety calls after fatal A34 crash

Calls follow tragic deaths of three children and woman

William Walker

William Walker


01635 886641

Fresh safety calls at A34 "accident blackspot"

A crash which killed three children and a woman on the A34 last night [Wednesday] has sparked fresh calls for enhanced safety on what has been described as an “accident blackspot”.

Immediately following the tragedy on the A34 northbound at East Ilsley at 5.10pm there were outpourings of sympathy for the family but also warnings of further accidents if nothing is done.

Stephen Brown from Great Shefford said: “R.I.P so sad. But terrible road to travel on, something needs to change.”

Luci Fricker Gohara said on the Newbury Today Facebook page: “That stretch of road is so dangerous […] the speed limit needs reducing there.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the families.”

Another Facebook user, Stanley Ash, said: “There’s not a day goes by where there’s something happening on the A34, too busy.”

Lauren Whitehead said: “Another accident on this dangerous road. So sad.”

Calls for a reduced speed limit and for speed cameras at the section of the road which has seen several accidents in recent months are unfortunately not new.

In June, a 28-year old from Swindon, Gavin Roberts, travelling north near East Ilsley was killed after another vehicle ploughed through the central reservation on the other side of the road and hit his BMW.

His girlfriend, Meg Williamson, launched a petition urging for a speed limit reduction to 50mph and for speed cameras to enforce the new measure.

Her petition has since reached more than 800 signatures with numbers rising since last night’s accident.

At the time of Mr Roberts’ death Highways England said they would commission “a range of research projects” aimed at improving safety and investigating the cause of fatalities.

A spokesperson said after that accident: “Safety is our top priority and we consider any advice given by the police or other statutory bodies to improve safety.

“We also monitor all the roads on our network, including the A34, on an ongoing basis to identify where safety improvements may be made.  

“We are commissioning a range of research projects to further improve road safety, including research into the causes of fatalities in collisions on our roads, the impact of roadworks on driver stress and the factors which contribute to poor driver behaviour.”

In 2012 another campaign to cut the speed limit was led by Brightwalton resident and Green Party activist Adrian Hollister calling the stretch of road at East Ilsley an “accident blackspot”.

Figures compiled between 2007 and 2011 showed that 44 people had been either killed or seriously injured on the A34 between the M3 and M4.

In 2013, however, the Road Safety Foundation and European Road Assessment Programme designated the A34 a low-risk “safe” road.

To view the petition for a reduced speed limit visit: 

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Article comments

  • Oflife


    11/08/2016 - 16:04

    I have been predicting all this from a few years ago. And it's due to traffic density. I hate to bring this up now (I have been driving A34/M40 North for over 20 years!), but it's a mix of uncontrolled immigration (sorry, it is!) and bad rail services. (This week, you cannot even get a direct train from Reading to Oxford, have to change at Didcot!) If our government stopped flooding out small island with people who could actually go live in more spacious areas of the world, our traffic density would be reduced, making our roads safer. This has NOTHING to do with that bit of the road, it's the same for the whole A34 and M40. You can travel any time of the day or week and it's too busy, so your stopping distance is reduced. You're either trapped between lorries, or a mix of them and cars. I would never allow any elderly person or young new to the road driver on those roads any more now. Tragic about this family, this is heartbreaking, but was totally avoidable, and I blame the UK gov/EU.


    • Sausages

      11/08/2016 - 17:05

      Nigel, I appreciate that you've obviously got a lot of spare time on your hands now the you're no longer 'running' UKIP. However, using this tragedy as excuse for a bit of immigrant bashing seems a bit sick.


  • Ihavenonickname

    11/08/2016 - 16:04

    So very sad to see this family's tragedy. I would fully support a reduction in the speed limit of this section of the A34 but only if it was enforced by average speed cameras. Without these even more tailgating will occur duE to the increasing number of complete morons who choose to ignore even the 70 mph limit.


  • Robster1969

    11/08/2016 - 14:02

    A very sad incident and my thoughts are with the friends and families of the dead and injured. However ever these knee jerk cries for reduced speed limits is very alarming... lets first understand what caused the accident. One of the best things we could do is prevent vehicles over 3.5 ton from using the out side lane. better training for drivers, for example look at the current motorcycle test, very comprehensive and restrictive once passed, perhaps this for drivers of cars and goods vehicles. In the meantime lest all stay alert on the roads, and not take any risks....


    • NWN1961

      11/08/2016 - 14:02

      Fully understand where you are coming from, however, a reduced speed limit would go a long way to reducing the number of accidents. I frequently travel this road, coming off at the junction just ahead of where this particular accident occurred. Only last weekend when travelling northbound, there was a collision between two vehicles just a few cars ahead of us! It's nerve wracking. On Tuesday night, a cyclist was killed neared the Pear Tree interchange. There are way too many accidents on the A34; a reduced speed limit is something that could and should be implemented quickly. Maybe also painted chevrons advising motorists to stay two chevrons apart. People drive far too close to the car in front, trying to force other drivers into the inside lane so they can increase speed again. How many more people need to die before the message reaches home.


    • Blizzard

      11/08/2016 - 14:02

      Agreed. Reducing the speed will not stop a dangerous driver. Motorcycle training is so and rightly so, very hard but it makes riders and new riders more aware. Car drivers suffer from being in their bubble and feeling totally safe. You can slow traffic down but it won't stop someone doing a risky move or just badly assessed manoeuvre.


    • DuckyDuck

      11/08/2016 - 14:02

      Precisely, "... these knee jerk cries for ... " banning overtakes by HGVs "... is very alarming... lets understand the cause of the accident ". There are only two lanes and if the right-hand lane cannot be used by HGVs then the nearside lane will be permanently occupied by HGVs and cars will equally get stuck behind caravans, horse boxes or generally slow drivers overtaking the HGVs . Not to mention trying to join A34 where there are HGVs in long front-to-tail train on the left-hand lane . Agreed, the cause of the accident is still unknown. Also agree that more training is required, IAM for instance would be beneficial for everyone.


    • Newbs1234

      11/08/2016 - 14:02

      Why would it be alarming to reduce the speed in an accident blackspot??