Three deaths on Norfolk's roads cause heartache for families before Christmas
PUBLISHED: 08:53 23 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:23 23 December 2017
A series of crashes on Norfolk’s roads this week have left three families ripped apart just days before Christmas.
Three fatal crashes, and a number of other collisions, have prompted calls from councillors for safety improvements on our roads and warnings from the police for drivers to take care.
The most recent tragedy happened on the A47 at Scarning yesterday, when a man in his 60s was killed.
It happened around 2pm near the junction with Drayton Hall Road, an area branded “lethal” by a district councillor.
It was also confirmed yesterday that motorcyclist Nathan Robinson, from Fakenham, who is believed to be in his early 30s, died in a three-vehicle crash on the A148 at Sculthorpe on Thursday.
On Wednesday, a man in his 50s was killed when his car crashed into the central reservation between Thetford and Larling.
Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, head of Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing Unit, said: “Sadly today we’ve seen another tragedy on our roads and our thoughts are with the families and friends affected by these incidents.
“Full and thorough investigations will be carried out into all three collisions, it would therefore be inappropriate for me to comment further about the causes.
“I urge all drivers to take extra care. Many people will be making journeys during the festive period and I would encourage everyone to allow plenty of time for their journeys and drive to the conditions.”
Mr Robinson was killed in a crash just after 3.30pm on Thursday.
Chairman of Sculthorpe Parish Council, Tony Walters, described the stretch between Lynn Road and Creake Road, as “relatively dangerous”.
He said: “That area is 50mph, but there are still a lot of people who do a lot more than that speed.”
North Norfolk District Council leader Tom FitzPatrick said: “Any loss of life is a tragedy but when it’s someone young it’s even worse.”
Police figures show the number of fatalities on Norfolk’s roads has remained almost the same for the past two years. Some 33 fatal collisions happened in 2016, causing 36 deaths. Since January 1, 2017, there have been 31 fatal crashes, causing 33 deaths.
Of the latest death, county councillor for Humbletoft, Neatherd, and Scarning William Richmond, said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the man who has died.”
Mr Richmond pointed to death of 69-year-old Robert Liggett in the same place in September as another tragedy which showed action needed to be taken. RAF airman and Afghanistan veteran Tom Pattison died on the road on April 4. And 56-year-old John Carpenter, from Scarning, died near the junction of Grange Road on May 5. Mr Richmond said: “I have been in touch with MP George Freeman and his office and we are hoping to meet with Highways England about new signage work. There was huge concern following the accident in September as well. From our point of view if they’re not going to dual that stretch there needs to be some improvements.”
He added: “I wish to thank the emergency services, who I gather were at the scene for many hours.”
District and parish councillors said they had been fighting for improvements on at A47 at Scarning for some time.
Wendy Brown, chairman of Scarning Parish Council, said: “We are continually contacting Highways about it, we understand they have got financial considerations and other areas of the A47 but something does need to be done about it. How many people have to die on a stretch of road until something is done?”
Paul Hewett, district councillor for Shipdham with Scarning, said: “It’s a very dangerous stretch of road, I don’t think improvements can come soon enough.”
Lynda Turner, who also represents the area on Breckland Council, added: “That area is notorious for accidents. It’s just lethal. Our thoughts are with the family of this man. My plea to Norfolk County Council and the Highways Agency is please don’t let there be another death or accident here.”
Witnesses should contact the Serious Collision Investigation Team on 101.