Speed limit at accident blackspot finally lowered after years of campaigning and multiple fatalities
- Credit: Archant
The speed limit on a set of infamously dangerous bends has been permanently lowered.
A new safety scheme on the A143 Haddiscoe bends, running between St Olaves and Haddiscoe, has brought the previous speed limit of 50mph down to 40mph.
The road has long been regarded as a notorious blackspot for accidents, with several serious collisions and a number of fatalities over the years.
Motorcyclist Marcus Nichols died on the bends in 2014 when his bike was involved in a crash with two other vehicles. A witness at the inquest into his death described how the 23-year-old emerged from a bend and struggled to bring his vehicle onto the correct side of the road.
A year later, 29-year-old Daniel Tubby drowned after his car came off the road and flipped onto its roof, landing in a water-filled ditch.
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The two-mile stretch has even posed problems for emergency services, including an ambulance crew whose vehicle crashed into the ditch while racing to a 999 call last August.
Haddiscoe Parish Council, which led the charge for a reduction alongside Norfolk County Council chairman Margaret Stone, says the safety scheme is long overdue.
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“We’ve been trying to get a 40mph limit put in place for years,” said parish clerk, Sarah Daines. “We’ve always fought for a reduction, but the police have said they weren’t sure whether it would reduce the number of accidents.
“I’ve lived in the area all my life and I’d say there is an accident at least once a month. A lot of drivers don’t realise how long and sweeping the bends are, and when they crash into the ditches they can’t get out of their cars.
“Hopefully now, with drivers going at 40, they stand a better chance of staying on their side of the road.”
As well as the updated speed signs, several directional arrows have been placed alongside the bends - adding to the speed awareness message sign installed last year.
Mrs Stone, whose council division covers Haddiscoe, said the wishes of residents had finally been granted.
“Locals have felt very strongly that the speed was too fast because there were so many accidents,” added Mrs Stone. “Because of that I put my support behind the initiative.
“Only time will tell if it has an effect, but people are really pleased with the change.”