Speed limit to be cut on road where three were killed

SCENE: The speed limit is to be cut from 50mph to 40mph

SCENE: The speed limit is to be cut from 50mph to 40mph

First published in Worcester by

THE speed limit on the road where three members of the same family lost their lives in a car accident at the weekend is to be reduced.

Luke Morris, aged 22, and his 24-year-old partner Elizabeth Stanley, both from Kidderminster, died when the car he was driving hit a tree alongside the B4084 at Avon Bank, close to Pershore Agricultural College, early on Saturday morning.

Mr Morris’s sister Becky Townsend, 26, of Wick, near Pershore, was also killed while her husband Craig was seriously injured and remains in a “stable” condition in hospital.

Since the accident, residents and parish councillors in Wick have said that the road is an accident blackspot and has long been the subject of safety concerns.

Worcestershire County Council says that it is planning to cut the speed limit from 50mph to 40mph, and that it could not have acted any more quickly as it is a time-consuming process.

David Scott, chairman of Wick Parish Council, said there had been calls to the highways department to tackle speeding and unsafe overtaking along the road for many years.

“The concerns of the village and ourselves as a parish council have been voiced long before this accident,” he said. “While I don’t necessarily think there is anything that could have been done to prevent this tragic accident, there are things that could be done to improve safety on the road in future. It is a major concern to us and has been for many years.”

He believes speed enforcement cameras - whether temporary or permanent - are “essential” along the road if speeding and safety concerns are to be tackled.

“I think that is the only way these problems can sensibly be tackled. There is no point in having a speed limit unless it is enforced.”

He added that the mood in Wick since the accident had been one of “great sadness”.

“It is terribly tragic. People’s lives have been lost and children have lost their parents,” he added.

Councillor John Smith, cabinet member for highways and transport at Worcestershire County Council, said: “The council has been responsible for reviewing the speed limits on all of the county's A and B for the last 12 months as part of the National Speed Review.

“We have to adhere to a national process, which unfortunately takes time. We have assured the local residents and Wick Parish Council that we are nearing the implementation stage for the speed limit change from 50 mph to 40 mph on the B4084.”

Inquests into the deaths of Mrs Townsend, Mr Morris and Miss Stanley were opened at Worcestershire Coroners Court, in Stourport, this morning and adjourned.

Comments (24)

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12:34pm Wed 13 Jun 12

MrWXYZ says...

So whats the issue? The 50mph speed limit or the speeding drivers?
Just hope they aren't lowering the speed limit to try and get the speeders closer to 50 rather than enforcing the existing one. (without trying to sound insensitive towards those who lost their lives)
So whats the issue? The 50mph speed limit or the speeding drivers? Just hope they aren't lowering the speed limit to try and get the speeders closer to 50 rather than enforcing the existing one. (without trying to sound insensitive towards those who lost their lives) MrWXYZ
  • Score: 0

12:49pm Wed 13 Jun 12

srd275 says...

Using ONE accident as an excuse to lower a speed limit is NOT safety. IT IS PLAYING the SPEED LIMIT POLITICS GAME. To give the illusion of doing 'something". You could do nothing and see this death not repeat itself.


What was the cause of the crash???

If it was DUI, not paying attention for example do you really think a lower speed limit is going to EVER SOLVE IT???

NO it won't.

Speed limits should be based on what most drivers can safely do, the 85% speed.

Read more of it here: http://www.abd.org.u
k/speed_limits_85th.
htm
Using ONE accident as an excuse to lower a speed limit is NOT safety. IT IS PLAYING the SPEED LIMIT POLITICS GAME. To give the illusion of doing 'something". You could do nothing and see this death not repeat itself. What was the cause of the crash??? If it was DUI, not paying attention for example do you really think a lower speed limit is going to EVER SOLVE IT??? NO it won't. Speed limits should be based on what most drivers can safely do, the 85% speed. Read more of it here: http://www.abd.org.u k/speed_limits_85th. htm srd275
  • Score: 0

1:03pm Wed 13 Jun 12

skychip says...

Trouble is will drivers stick to the new limit if it is imposed.
Trouble is will drivers stick to the new limit if it is imposed. skychip
  • Score: 0

1:18pm Wed 13 Jun 12

Saturn V says...

If the residents want it lowered that's all that matters.
If the residents want it lowered that's all that matters. Saturn V
  • Score: 0

1:29pm Wed 13 Jun 12

david350uk says...

Saturn V, no its not, its irrelevant what the residents want, they don't use the road as a through route, which is what it is.
Good move lowering the speed limit that should decrease the "unsafe overtaking" not.
Saturn V, no its not, its irrelevant what the residents want, they don't use the road as a through route, which is what it is. Good move lowering the speed limit that should decrease the "unsafe overtaking" not. david350uk
  • Score: 0

1:35pm Wed 13 Jun 12

CYNIC_AL says...

Lowering the speed limit won't make a blind bit of notice. The speed limit through the High St /Bridge St on the approach to the accident scene is 20mph but people still do 30-40 as they pass through the town before they floor it as they race towards Wick. Maybe a permanent speed camera would be the only way to slow drivers down as they approach the bend?
Lowering the speed limit won't make a blind bit of notice. The speed limit through the High St /Bridge St on the approach to the accident scene is 20mph but people still do 30-40 as they pass through the town before they floor it as they race towards Wick. Maybe a permanent speed camera would be the only way to slow drivers down as they approach the bend? CYNIC_AL
  • Score: 0

1:39pm Wed 13 Jun 12

AlexBailey says...

Years of propaganda from various groups has created an attitude that all accidents are caused by high speeds where this is not true. Has there been a full investigation of this crash? Has the inquest published it's findings? No. The fact is that the driver might have been drunk, using a phone, smoking a cigarette. He may have even been driving well within the speed limit. So let's wait before just playing the numbers game, slow speed limits can be just as dangerous as high speeds!
Years of propaganda from various groups has created an attitude that all accidents are caused by high speeds where this is not true. Has there been a full investigation of this crash? Has the inquest published it's findings? No. The fact is that the driver might have been drunk, using a phone, smoking a cigarette. He may have even been driving well within the speed limit. So let's wait before just playing the numbers game, slow speed limits can be just as dangerous as high speeds! AlexBailey
  • Score: 0

1:57pm Wed 13 Jun 12

Maggie Would says...

srd275 wrote:
Using ONE accident as an excuse to lower a speed limit is NOT safety. IT IS PLAYING the SPEED LIMIT POLITICS GAME. To give the illusion of doing 'something". You could do nothing and see this death not repeat itself.


What was the cause of the crash???

If it was DUI, not paying attention for example do you really think a lower speed limit is going to EVER SOLVE IT???

NO it won't.

Speed limits should be based on what most drivers can safely do, the 85% speed.

Read more of it here: http://www.abd.org.u

k/speed_limits_85th.

htm
*If* you had troubled to read the article, you would find that the speed limit is not being lowered because of this accident, the change was already planned and is in the process of being carried out.
So, your comment is irrelevant.
[quote][p][bold]srd275[/bold] wrote: Using ONE accident as an excuse to lower a speed limit is NOT safety. IT IS PLAYING the SPEED LIMIT POLITICS GAME. To give the illusion of doing 'something". You could do nothing and see this death not repeat itself. What was the cause of the crash??? If it was DUI, not paying attention for example do you really think a lower speed limit is going to EVER SOLVE IT??? NO it won't. Speed limits should be based on what most drivers can safely do, the 85% speed. Read more of it here: http://www.abd.org.u k/speed_limits_85th. htm[/p][/quote]*If* you had troubled to read the article, you would find that the speed limit is not being lowered because of this accident, the change was already planned and is in the process of being carried out. So, your comment is irrelevant. Maggie Would
  • Score: 0

4:13pm Wed 13 Jun 12

Vox populi says...

Firstly without a doubt this is a tragic accident and my condolences to all involved.
With a clear head on and without knee jerk reaction: Persistant speeders will speed and it has nothing to do with what is posted on a sign at the road side. It appears that there have been tragic accidents at this spot however with the greatest of respect 100000's of people have driven at the 50mph speed limit without falling off the road which only suggests that there are other factors at work. The accident report will no doubt identify the causes.

The lowering of speed limits will by the laws of probability reach a level where accident rates level off or increase due to the very fact that no competence or skill is needed from the driver. By this time of course we will all be reading books and texting on mobiles while driving on the motorway at 25mph. Its ok though we can afford a cavalier attitude if we are well protected and only going to crash at such a low speed!

RIP and best wishes to the family and anyone touched by this.
Firstly without a doubt this is a tragic accident and my condolences to all involved. With a clear head on and without knee jerk reaction: Persistant speeders will speed and it has nothing to do with what is posted on a sign at the road side. It appears that there have been tragic accidents at this spot however with the greatest of respect 100000's of people have driven at the 50mph speed limit without falling off the road which only suggests that there are other factors at work. The accident report will no doubt identify the causes. The lowering of speed limits will by the laws of probability reach a level where accident rates level off or increase due to the very fact that no competence or skill is needed from the driver. By this time of course we will all be reading books and texting on mobiles while driving on the motorway at 25mph. Its ok though we can afford a cavalier attitude if we are well protected and only going to crash at such a low speed! RIP and best wishes to the family and anyone touched by this. Vox populi
  • Score: 0

5:54pm Wed 13 Jun 12

Gillian1961 says...

If this is a Accident black spot why as it taken a tragedy like this to reduce the speed limit, i blame the highways agency
If this is a Accident black spot why as it taken a tragedy like this to reduce the speed limit, i blame the highways agency Gillian1961
  • Score: 0

7:08pm Wed 13 Jun 12

CJH says...

Gillian1961 wrote:
If this is a Accident black spot why as it taken a tragedy like this to reduce the speed limit, i blame the highways agency
No-one knows why the accident happened yet. It may have been unrelated to speed. And, as already been pointed out in a previous comment, the change to the speed limit was already under review, it is not as a direct consequence of this unfortunate accident, especially as it is still under investigation. Why do you seek to attach blame so quickly without knowing the full facts?
[quote][p][bold]Gillian1961[/bold] wrote: If this is a Accident black spot why as it taken a tragedy like this to reduce the speed limit, i blame the highways agency[/p][/quote]No-one knows why the accident happened yet. It may have been unrelated to speed. And, as already been pointed out in a previous comment, the change to the speed limit was already under review, it is not as a direct consequence of this unfortunate accident, especially as it is still under investigation. Why do you seek to attach blame so quickly without knowing the full facts? CJH
  • Score: 0

7:11pm Wed 13 Jun 12

uptonX says...

Exactly as said above. Idiot councillors and campaigners using this tragedy to promote their own political agendas.
This was a car at least 15 years old so without modern safety features being driven in the dark in the wet, was there something in the road, fallen tree, another vehicle. The inquest will find the reason, it is ridculous for anyone to claim at this stage it is because the speed limit is 50, already reduced from 60 a few years ago.
Exactly as said above. Idiot councillors and campaigners using this tragedy to promote their own political agendas. This was a car at least 15 years old so without modern safety features being driven in the dark in the wet, was there something in the road, fallen tree, another vehicle. The inquest will find the reason, it is ridculous for anyone to claim at this stage it is because the speed limit is 50, already reduced from 60 a few years ago. uptonX
  • Score: 0

9:50pm Wed 13 Jun 12

MulsanneChap says...

Gillian1961 wrote:
If this is a Accident black spot why as it taken a tragedy like this to reduce the speed limit, i blame the highways agency
Many residents percieve roads near them as dangerous when they are not, so do not automatically think that because residents and the Parish Council think the road is an accident blackspot, it actually is. Where is their evidence? Has there been a number of fatal accidents or those resulting in serious injuries? The article suggests not.

If the area was already an accident blackspot, I doubt the road would have been left as it is. But if it was, then yes, the highways department could be seen as culpable and negligent. So please do not jump to conclusions and believe that all roads are dangerous because someone thinks it is. Motorists have a responsibility to drive to the conditions and not necessarily the speed limit, while this tragic accident may purely have been down to bad luck. So unless you know what you're talking about, lets refrain from blaming the highways department and the council bashing that would inevtiably ensue.
[quote][p][bold]Gillian1961[/bold] wrote: If this is a Accident black spot why as it taken a tragedy like this to reduce the speed limit, i blame the highways agency[/p][/quote]Many residents percieve roads near them as dangerous when they are not, so do not automatically think that because residents and the Parish Council think the road is an accident blackspot, it actually is. Where is their evidence? Has there been a number of fatal accidents or those resulting in serious injuries? The article suggests not. If the area was already an accident blackspot, I doubt the road would have been left as it is. But if it was, then yes, the highways department could be seen as culpable and negligent. So please do not jump to conclusions and believe that all roads are dangerous because someone thinks it is. Motorists have a responsibility to drive to the conditions and not necessarily the speed limit, while this tragic accident may purely have been down to bad luck. So unless you know what you're talking about, lets refrain from blaming the highways department and the council bashing that would inevtiably ensue. MulsanneChap
  • Score: 0

11:20pm Wed 13 Jun 12

chapski75 says...

Very tragic for those that lost their lives, and the families left behind, particularly the children whose parents have died.

On the speed limit debate, in this instance speed is yet to be determined as the cause. There have been similar tragic events on the A449, one of the more recent ones was due to excess speed, wet roads, and defective tyres. Legislation and speed cameras won't stop people taking risks with their vehicles and the way they drive them. Not assuming this is the case in this accident.
Very tragic for those that lost their lives, and the families left behind, particularly the children whose parents have died. On the speed limit debate, in this instance speed is yet to be determined as the cause. There have been similar tragic events on the A449, one of the more recent ones was due to excess speed, wet roads, and defective tyres. Legislation and speed cameras won't stop people taking risks with their vehicles and the way they drive them. Not assuming this is the case in this accident. chapski75
  • Score: 0

12:59am Thu 14 Jun 12

Jabbadad says...

I have travelled this road for many years and subject to weather / road conditions have always felt comfortable with the handling of my car at the previous 60mph and now the 50 mph. And as drivers we are charged with making / taking reasonable judgments under all road conditions. That is why when anyone has been drinking their reactions and sense are impaired, and why they / we shouldn't drive.
Like other posters I am sorry for anyone's demise in accidents, but we also don't need knee-jerk reactions.
I have travelled this road for many years and subject to weather / road conditions have always felt comfortable with the handling of my car at the previous 60mph and now the 50 mph. And as drivers we are charged with making / taking reasonable judgments under all road conditions. That is why when anyone has been drinking their reactions and sense are impaired, and why they / we shouldn't drive. Like other posters I am sorry for anyone's demise in accidents, but we also don't need knee-jerk reactions. Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

8:25am Thu 14 Jun 12

evesham123 says...

My thoughts go out to the families involved in this terrible tragedy and i imagine that further details of what happened will be released in due course, so its not sensible to speculate at this point. But, lets be clear, as far as i can see, there is nothing wrong with this road per se - i have driven it for many years in both directions at all times of the day and have never found it to be particularly unsafe - there are far more dangerous roads in the local area that no-one seems to be bothered about - so, lets try and inject an element of sense into proceedings (and i direct that comment at local councillors) - lets not have an over-reaction before we know whats actually happened.....
My thoughts go out to the families involved in this terrible tragedy and i imagine that further details of what happened will be released in due course, so its not sensible to speculate at this point. But, lets be clear, as far as i can see, there is nothing wrong with this road per se - i have driven it for many years in both directions at all times of the day and have never found it to be particularly unsafe - there are far more dangerous roads in the local area that no-one seems to be bothered about - so, lets try and inject an element of sense into proceedings (and i direct that comment at local councillors) - lets not have an over-reaction before we know whats actually happened..... evesham123
  • Score: 0

9:16am Thu 14 Jun 12

MJI says...

I also have driven along the A44 many times. (The roads correct number). Cannot see what a lower speedl imit would do for safety.
.
Young driver, powerful car, could be anything. If it was speeding (would have to be at 3 figure speeds there) lowering th elimit would do nothing.
I also have driven along the A44 many times. (The roads correct number). Cannot see what a lower speedl imit would do for safety. . Young driver, powerful car, could be anything. If it was speeding (would have to be at 3 figure speeds there) lowering th elimit would do nothing. MJI
  • Score: 0

12:56pm Fri 15 Jun 12

deborah-coldicottcollins says...

david350uk wrote:
Saturn V, no its not, its irrelevant what the residents want, they don't use the road as a through route, which is what it is. Good move lowering the speed limit that should decrease the "unsafe overtaking" not.
david35ouk. If the speed limit is lowered or not I really do not think it will make a difference, as each individual driver is different when it comes to speed limits and as for overtaking I have seen some right idiots doing this in areas where the limit is 30mph some drivers just don't care about the safety of others.
[quote][p][bold]david350uk[/bold] wrote: Saturn V, no its not, its irrelevant what the residents want, they don't use the road as a through route, which is what it is. Good move lowering the speed limit that should decrease the "unsafe overtaking" not.[/p][/quote]david35ouk. If the speed limit is lowered or not I really do not think it will make a difference, as each individual driver is different when it comes to speed limits and as for overtaking I have seen some right idiots doing this in areas where the limit is 30mph some drivers just don't care about the safety of others. deborah-coldicottcollins
  • Score: 0

7:08pm Fri 15 Jun 12

MrWXYZ says...

"I have seen some right idiots doing this in areas where the limit is 30mph"

Why is that idiotic? If someone is going slower than you its a lot safer than more sensible to overtake if safe and legal to do so, than tailgate as most drivers do in some kind of retarded dangerous way of trying to force someone to go quicker.
I've overtaken a fair few cars in 30mph zones and would refer you to the good article srd275 gave the link too. The people i've overtaken mostly being incompetent or not paying any attention and doing less than 30mph when safe to do so.... and probably more likely to cause an accident than someone going quicker but properly
"I have seen some right idiots doing this in areas where the limit is 30mph" Why is that idiotic? If someone is going slower than you its a lot safer than more sensible to overtake if safe and legal to do so, than tailgate as most drivers do in some kind of retarded dangerous way of trying to force someone to go quicker. I've overtaken a fair few cars in 30mph zones and would refer you to the good article srd275 gave the link too. The people i've overtaken mostly being incompetent or not paying any attention and doing less than 30mph when safe to do so.... and probably more likely to cause an accident than someone going quicker but properly MrWXYZ
  • Score: 0

8:20pm Fri 15 Jun 12

Saturn V says...

Nothing wrong with going less than 30mph in a 30mph zone, it is the maximum speed permitted, not one that should maintained obsessively on the line, or slightly above knowing that you speedo reads a bit fast.
About time many drivers grew up and accepted facts like this.
The ABD website even complains about "Those drivers who are fastidious about always obeying the law, no matter what,.."
No matter what? A tsunami approaching perhaps? Guff.

Any one can drive down a road at twice the legal speed and declare it safe to do at Xmph. That road may have driveways round tight bends, residents who need to cross the road, kids who need to cross the road, there may be a large number of slow farm vehices in the area which need to pull on to and use the road, often putting mud about, it may be on a popular cycling route or have an unusually high number of tourists/picnickers fumbling about looking for a turning.
The 85 percentilists are just another minority group creating pseudo-science out of their hallowed graph just for the sake of argument it seems, as the only solution is - everyone drive as safe as it is to do so, ok?
Nothing wrong with going less than 30mph in a 30mph zone, it is the maximum speed permitted, not one that should maintained obsessively on the line, or slightly above knowing that you speedo reads a bit fast. About time many drivers grew up and accepted facts like this. The ABD website even complains about "Those drivers who are fastidious about always obeying the law, no matter what,.." No matter what? A tsunami approaching perhaps? Guff. Any one can drive down a road at twice the legal speed and declare it safe to do at Xmph. That road may have driveways round tight bends, residents who need to cross the road, kids who need to cross the road, there may be a large number of slow farm vehices in the area which need to pull on to and use the road, often putting mud about, it may be on a popular cycling route or have an unusually high number of tourists/picnickers fumbling about looking for a turning. The 85 percentilists are just another minority group creating pseudo-science out of their hallowed graph just for the sake of argument it seems, as the only solution is - everyone drive as safe as it is to do so, ok? Saturn V
  • Score: 0

10:05pm Fri 15 Jun 12

Ian_25 says...

Eventually the whole road from Worcester to Evesham will be 20 or 30 mph because that is the way the nanny state has been going for some time.
Why was 40 mph through villages and 30mph through towns OK 20 years ago, but is not now even though cars are much safer and brake more rapidly.
Most crashes are caused by driver error, not roads. Accident blackspots only need better signage to make drivers aware of the potential problem, that and drivers who drive correctly.
Eventually the whole road from Worcester to Evesham will be 20 or 30 mph because that is the way the nanny state has been going for some time. Why was 40 mph through villages and 30mph through towns OK 20 years ago, but is not now even though cars are much safer and brake more rapidly. Most crashes are caused by driver error, not roads. Accident blackspots only need better signage to make drivers aware of the potential problem, that and drivers who drive correctly. Ian_25
  • Score: 0

3:46pm Sun 17 Jun 12

DarrenM says...

"The 85 percentilists are just another minority group creating pseudo-science out of their hallowed graph just for the sake of argument it seems, as the only solution is - everyone drive as safe as it is to do so, ok?"

Really funny how that was official Govt policy in the UK for about 50 years when it came to setting Speed Limits , and is used for that purpose all over the world, notably in the US., so its actually you who are in the minority group.
"The 85 percentilists are just another minority group creating pseudo-science out of their hallowed graph just for the sake of argument it seems, as the only solution is - everyone drive as safe as it is to do so, ok?" Really funny how that was official Govt policy in the UK for about 50 years when it came to setting Speed Limits , and is used for that purpose all over the world, notably in the US., so its actually you who are in the minority group. DarrenM
  • Score: 0

8:33am Mon 18 Jun 12

MrWXYZ says...

SaturnV - granted the speed limit is a maximum, hence my comment of overtaking if SAFE and LEGAL.
But how many people have you seen doing 20mph in a 30 zone when its safe and clear that are actually paying full attention or not looking like the next parked car is in danger from them? (or just driving past a speed camera oblivious to the fact they don't actually flash at 30 but thats another point)
SaturnV - granted the speed limit is a maximum, hence my comment of overtaking if SAFE and LEGAL. But how many people have you seen doing 20mph in a 30 zone when its safe and clear that are actually paying full attention or not looking like the next parked car is in danger from them? (or just driving past a speed camera oblivious to the fact they don't actually flash at 30 but thats another point) MrWXYZ
  • Score: 0

3:28pm Tue 19 Jun 12

dulon says...

Good debate here ! keep it up . I would like everyone to take a deep breath and remember the old druid saying that 'he that is without sin let them cast the first stone'
Why do we all wish to apportion blame and sit in ivory towers ? There was a tragic accident with tragic consequences nobody intended to hurt anybody it was an accident
Meanwhile I'm off to stone henge for solstice!
Good debate here ! keep it up . I would like everyone to take a deep breath and remember the old druid saying that 'he that is without sin let them cast the first stone' Why do we all wish to apportion blame and sit in ivory towers ? There was a tragic accident with tragic consequences nobody intended to hurt anybody it was an accident [look at the definition of accident] Meanwhile I'm off to stone henge for solstice! dulon
  • Score: 0

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