Road is ‘accident waiting to happen’

VILLAGERS are campaigning for better road safety measures near Harpswell after a motorcyclist died on the notorious A631 red route.

Around 30 people turned out to show their support and sign a petition demanding that the authorities make necessary road improvements to avoid any further tragedies.

Residents of Harpswell have started a petition in anger at the number of accidents on the A631 G120823-2

Residents of Harpswell have started a petition in anger at the number of accidents on the A631 G120823-2

Camron Lee Mangham, 41, of Colliery Road in Bircotes, Notts, was killed on Sunday 12th August after the motorbike he was riding collided with a tractor.

The farm vehicle had been coming out of Church Lane at Harpswell, onto the fast A631 road, which has seen a number of serious accidents over the years.

Local people said the junction had been an ‘accident waiting to happen’ for years.

“What has happened here is what we have all been expecting for a long time,” said county councillor Lewis Strange, who represents the Ancholme Cliff ward.

“When we had the road improvements between Market Rasen and Gainsborough, we all highlighted that the bends and this hill were an accident waiting to happen.”

“I am very sad at this fatality and the family who will be mourning the loss of a loved one. We should think of them first.”

“But this tragedy will galvanize your campaign for more to be done.”

Coun Strange urged villagers to send their concerns to the highways department at Lincolnshire County Council and to Lincolnshire Road Partnership.

He also agreed to arrange a meeting between residents and the authorities, to discuss the issues.

Harpswell resident Jane Henson, has already collected nearly 200 signatures on a petition.

She said she was ‘overwhelmed’ to see the level of support from local people.

“I am thrilled that all these people have come along today to tell our story to the newspaper and to push the issue forward,” she said.

“I have had so many close calls on this stretch, as have other people in the village, with careless speeding drivers overtaking and generally not caring about other road users.”

Jane said the Church Lane junction was dangerous because of vehicles picking up speed on the A631 coming down Harpswell Hill from the roundabout.

“We have asked the council to remove the trees and bushes on the corner where the accident was. They seriously impair visibility for drivers coming out of the junction, and for vehicles coming down the hill who can’t see the junction,” she said.

Jane said people were sick of the A631 being used as a ‘race track’, and sad that another fatal accident happened.

Standing by the road side, the speed of vehicles and the reckless way they overtook each other was clear to see.

Jane said: “Hopefully something will be done now, before another person dies.”

Dave Pitt, 70, lives at Harpswell Hill Park, an over-50s park homes site just before Harpswell on the A631.

“They need to put a camera between the hill and our bend. Apart from one at Hemswell Cliff, there isn’t a speed camera on the A631 until you’re in Nottinghamshire,” said Dave.

“The entrance and exit to the park is on a very dangerous bend. You take your life in your hands, because the vehicles really pick up speed coming down the hill and it’s a struggle to slow down as they approach the bend.”

“On Wednesday nights we can’t get out of our park homes site because of all the bikers going to Willingham Woods for the bike meet. It’s too dangerous.”

Polly Wright, a mum from Harpswell, suggested more should be done to highlight the hazards to road users.

“Something needs to be done, whether it’s a concealed entrance sign, or a lollypop sign to say it’s harvesting time so they need to be more careful,” she said.

Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership sent out a warning last week, appealing for more care on the county’s roads.

Head of casualty reduction at Lincolnshire Police, Det Insp Rob Grace, said: “We want people to enjoy the county and for all motorists to safely travel on our roads, particularly during the summer while the warm weather is upon us.”

“People must take into account that we are a large agricultural county with a farming community, and as harvesting has started there will be large slower moving machinery travelling on our rural roads.”