Safety call made after A12 deaths at Blythburgh and Frostenden

The scene of the collision.
Picture: James Bass

The scene of the collision. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

Four deaths on the A12 in less than two months have prompted a call for action to improve the safety of the busy trunk road.

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey said she now wants to see better warning signs near to the location of double fatal incidents at Blythburgh on Saturday and at Frostenden in October.

Dr Coffey said the A12 was a major tourist route and was often used by motorists who were unfamiliar with the area. She said more information was needed about the hazards ahead to prevent future fatalities.

However, the AA said that, although rural A-roads were among the most dangerous routes, the A12 through Suffolk was relatively safe.

Dr Coffey said: 'I am going to contact Graham Newman, the Suffolk County Council portfolio holder for roads and transport, to encourage him to think about specific signs and the number of fatalities in this area as a way of flagging up the situation to people who are not local.'


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But head of roads policy at the AA, Paul Watters said a study by road safety foundation Eurorap published this year categorised the A12 through the county as a low to medium risk route.

He said: 'There are not many roads that are particularly bad. You get isolated accidents but it is very hard these days to deal with the ones that do occur as they are not necessarily down to road engineering.'

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Christopher Doran, 19, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, and Jonny Cash, 18, from Ashford, Kent, died when the Citroen Berlingo they were travelling in left the road and collided with the White Hart Inn on Saturday.

Emergency services were called to the tragedy at around 9.30pm. The first ambulance was on the scene within 15 minutes and a further four ambulances, a rapid response vehicle, paramedic officer and East Anglian Air Ambulance were called as the scale of the incident became clear.

Mr Doran and Mr Cash were both pronounced dead at the scene.

Four other men, believed to be in their late teens/early 20s, were also injured in the collision.

All four remain in hospital, one at Ipswich Hospital, one in Addenbrookes in Cambridge and two in Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. They are all currently in a stable condition.

The single vehicle crash knocked over a telegraph pole and the car came to a rest on its side, making contact with the pub building.

However, it is not thought that there was major damage to the pub itself.

The group were travelling north on the A12 before the crash and are believed to have been heading to a wedding in Lowestoft.

This latest fatal collision comes less than seven weeks after two people died in a crash just a few miles away on the A12 at Frostenden, near Wangford.

Shannley Leaver, a 15-year-old Great Yarmouth school girl, and Ronald Gates, 55, from Knodishall, near Saxmundham, died when the cars they were travelling in collided on October 9.

? Police want to speak to anyone who witnessed the collision at Blythburgh or may have seen the car beforehand. Anyone with information should contact the PC Allie Cotton at the Serious Collision Investigation Team on 101.

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