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Worrying rise in serious crashes on notorious stretch of road, new figures show

PUBLISHED: 10:52 26 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:31 05 February 2019

The A140 as it passes through Tasburgh, which is a blackspot for accidents. PHOTO: Sophie Smith

The A140 as it passes through Tasburgh, which is a blackspot for accidents. PHOTO: Sophie Smith

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More than 25 crashes on a notoriously dangerous stretch of road resulted in injuries or deaths last year, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

Norfolk Constabulary figures show that from January 1 to December 31, 2018 there were 27 crashes on the A140 between the A47 junction and Scole in which people were injured, up from 19 in 2017.

The new figures bring the number of such incidents on the road up to 119 since 2014. Four of these were fatal, including two since October of last year, and three serious.

The existing stretch of the A140 near Long Stratton where a new roundabout will be built. Photo: Norfolk County CouncilThe existing stretch of the A140 near Long Stratton where a new roundabout will be built. Photo: Norfolk County Council

One particularly dangerous spot is the Hempnall crossroads, which is due to be converted into a £4.4m roundabout later this year.

Another is where the busy commuter road passes through the village of Tasburgh, near to Long Stratton. In October of last year 17-year-old Shannon Gittings, from Diss, lost her life at this point on the road. Anthony Glover, of Norwich, died after a crash on New Year’s Eve.

Alison Thomas, county councillor for Hempnall, is working to improve the safety precautions.

She said: “Tragically we have had two fatalities in the past few months and my thoughts are with the families. We are still awaiting the police investigation and coroner’s reports on both cases so obviously until we have got that we don’t know for sure what needs to change.

Alison Thomas, Conservative county councillor for Long Stratton. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.Alison Thomas, Conservative county councillor for Long Stratton. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

“I have done some work with the Highways team - there was a visibility issue with trees overhanging Marlpit Lane. They’ve identified work on that junction because it’s very dark there.”

Mrs Thomas is using her local member highway budget of £6,000 to fund safety barriers for the area.

She added: “People are quite rightly worried and concerned. I don’t have a date yet because they need to do technical work but we are hoping to start in the next few months. The trees might have to be a bit later because of the disruption it might cause on the A140.

“It’s difficult to say if we have made a difference, and it’s much too early to speculate. My part is to ensure that whatever needs to be done to improve safety, if it’s in the power of the council, gets done.”

The last time there were 27 crashes with injuries or fatalities was 2015, in which two people died.

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