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Fresh safety calls after fatal A34 crash

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Calls follow tragic deaths of three children and woman

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: https://www.change.org/p/oxford-city-council-save-lives-a34-50mph-with-speed-cameras

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