MP backing campaigners' plea for 40mph speed limit after serious A35 crash in west Dorset

Courtesy of the Bridport and Lyme Regis News

9:27am Thursday 30th July 2015

By David Bol

A SERIOUS car crash that left four people in hospital with severe injuries has triggered fresh safety calls on the A35.

Two cars collided in Morcombelake on Monday afternoon, resulting in four people being taken to hospital, including a 65-year-old man from Dorchester who was airlifted to hospital with fractures to his pelvis, leg and arm. 

Now, politicians have repeated calls for improved safety on the' very dangerous' stretch of road.

West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin visited the area and has backed safety calls from a councillor who has described the road as the ‘biggest difficulty’ in west Dorset.

The crash took place between Charmouth and Morcombelake, near Tizard’s Knap – causing severe delays for motorists as police closed the road following the smash.

The collision involved a silver Mercedes, registered to a man from Swanage and a blue Mazda, registered to a woman from Dorchester.

The driver of the Mazda was airlifted to Southampton Hospital. In addition, the driver of the Mercedes was taken by ambulance to Exeter Hospital with serious leg and pelvic injuries.

Two other people were also taken to hospital with their injuries, another to Exeter Hospital and one to Dorset County Hospital but these were not thought to be serious.

Mr Letwin has given his backing to campaigners wanting a 40mph speed limit to be extended to cover the western side of the village.

He said: “I visited this area last week and I think there is no doubt that it is a dangerous spot.

“We need both an extension of the 40mph speed limit to the west and a crossing near the two bus stops.

“I am now expecting to receive a formal request from the parish council – and I will then be pressing for both of these changes.”

A councillor also believes action needs to be taken to improve the safety of motorists. 

Cllr Simon Christopher, West Dorset District Council ward member for Chideock and Symondsbury, said: “I think the A35 west of Bridport is the greatest difficulty for us in west Dorset.

“It certainly is a very dangerous road and it is obviously very distressing for the families of those involved in any accidents. I talk about the dangers of the A35 at every meeting I speak at, and local people really do want something done about it.”

Cllr Christopher has suggested a range of safety measures including lowering the speed limit, dedicated cycle routes away from the A35, as well as a neighbourhood speed watch.

“Some people in Morcombelake have even suggested that some of the dangerous junctions should be closed altogether,” he said.

“I know that it is top of the agenda of both Oliver Letwin and East Devon MP Neil Parish, and I’m confident progress can be made.”