Blackspot will claim more lives, warn campaigners

Another crash near the Hunters Lodge crossroads - a stretch of the A35 where three people have die

Another crash near the Hunters Lodge crossroads - a stretch of the A35 where three people have died in recent weeks. - Credit: Archant

Calls for action at A35 Hunters Lodge danger junction are stepped up after second crash victim dies

The campaign for urgent road safety improvements at a notorious accident blackspot near Axminster moved up a gear this week following another death.

A second woman involved in a two car collision at the Hunters Lodge crossroads, on the A35, two weeks ago, has died in hospital.

Another male driver lost his life in a crash just east of the danger junction in June, after a collision involving three cars.

And on Saturday yet another collision saw a motorcycle and a car collide near the Hunters Lodge pub - with the pillion passenger being taken to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital as a precautionary measure. Police say it was, fortunately, a low speed impact.

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The double death crash, which involved a Kangoo van driven by a 61-year-old man from Beer, who suffered a minor injury,

and a Corsa, happened on Wednesday, July 10.

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An 82-year-old passenger in the car - Pamela Manning from Harrow - was declared dead at the scene.

The 85-year-old driver suffered minor injuries but a 90-year-old woman passenger was seriously hurt and died on Wednesday, July 17. Her name has not been released.

Following the accident Axminster’s MP Neil Parish called for an urgent meeting with the Highways Agency “to improve this terrible junction”.

West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin this week joined his call for action.

He said: “This is clearly a very worrying situation and I will certainly want to work with Neil Parish and the Highways Agency to see what we can do to improve matters.“

Meanwhile, Joy Raymond, who runs award winning bed and breakfast business Hedgehog Corner, near the danger crossroads, told The Herald of her dismay at the lack of action.

“Being born and brought up here I have never known this junction to be anything else than a death trap in waiting,” she said.

“It’s an on going problem that will eventually entail the loss of yet more life and more accidents with injuries - with the height of the children’s school holidays yet to begin with increased traffic.

“I have already offered the corner of my field to provide a ‘feeder lane’ for either traffic lights or a roundabout and I have written to Neil Parish asking if I may attend his meeting with Highways.

“It’s about time highways recognised that this blackspot will only get worse and become a far more serious problem than it is already.

“We need something more long term than highlighted signage as indicated by them earlier. It’s an ongoing problem and any money spent in the reconstruction of the entire junction area will be taxpayers’ money wisely spent.

“As someone living in the vicinity of this notorious junction many of us feel we take a risk every time we use it.

“I caution my guests to seek an alternative route through Lyme Regis or over Trinity Hill to avoid turning right towards Bridport. Bearing mind this junction is one of the main gateways into Lyme Regis it’s gambling with lives for Highways not to take immediate action to restructure this black spot.”

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