East Winch calls for action on A47 after fatal crash

Work underway to repair the damaged road surface after yesterday's multiple fatal crash on the A47 at East Winch. ANL-140327-121540001
Work underway to repair the damaged road surface after yesterday's multiple fatal crash on the A47 at East Winch. ANL-140327-121540001
Have your say

Fresh calls have been made for action to be taken on the A47 to prevent further tragedy following Wednesday’s horrific crash.

People who live and work in East Winch are renewing their appeals for greater safety measures on the road along with reducing the speed limit.

There is also a long running campaign to have the A47 dualled.

Motorists currently travel through the village at 50mph and calls have been made to have this reduced to 40mph. There is no indication that speed was a factor in Wednesday’s crash.

Parish council chairman Nell Steele has been fighting for the speed limit to be reduced for several years after seeing a number of crashes in the village.

The parish council is currently preparing a questionnaire for villagers to have their say on what safety measures should be introduced to the area.

She said: “A couple of years ago I did get in touch with a transport organisation to say the speed limit in the village should be 40mph and they said it was nonsense.

“I am quite sure that lowering the speed limit would be a popular move.

“The parish council is very concerned about the speed vehicles travel through the village. We think 50mph is too fast, especially as many cars go faster than that anyway.

“Another thing, in spite of the parish council’s representations, the markings on the road are faint.

“It has been so long since they have been renewed that you can’t see them. We have been trying to get them repainted without any results.”

Mrs Steele also said calls have been made since 1938 for the village to have a bypass but also highlighted issues with sight lines for traffic in the Station Road area and that footpaths do not run the entire length of the village.

She said: “The amount of local traffic has gone up as we have a large employer off the A47.”

Geoff Newton, who is the church warden at East Winch, had lived in Lynn Road for 36 years and witnessed numerous crashes.

A lorry had even ploughed through their garden during the 1970s and Mr Newton and his family have consoled people who have been involved in crashes.

Mr Newton, who moved away from the village to Gayton in 1998 due to the traffic volume, said: “People tend to drive faster than the speed limit.

“We saw so many crashes on the road and even had people in the house and gave them cups of tea after accidents.

“A 40mph speed limit would slow traffic down on the main road and prevent accidents.”

West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham says his colleagues will be lobbying for improvements on the A47.

Mr Bellingham is also calling for the speed limit to be lowered and fibre optic warning signs.

He said: “We know this is a danger road and we know the only action is dualling along the entire length of the A47.”

The Norfolk MPs will now be turning their attention to the A47.

“In the long term we need a commitment to dual it but in the short term we need improvements to the area.

“It is very important that lessons are learned from.

“This is a tragedy and my heart felt sympathies goes to the family concerned.”