Serious car crash reopens debate about speed limit in Wotton-under-Edge

Gazette Series: The Vauxhall Vectra at the incident on New Road in Wotton-under-Edge The Vauxhall Vectra at the incident on New Road in Wotton-under-Edge

A SERIOUS car crash on a road in Wotton-under-Edge has re-ignited debate over the speed limit in the area.

A white Vauxhall Vectra drove off New Road, through a wall and into a river.

The two men in the car, including a 25-year-old male passenger from Wotton-under-Edge, received minor facial injuries and were taken to Frenchay Hospital.

The fire service received a call at 2.12am on Saturday, June 15 to persons trapped in a vehicle and sent two appliances, one from Stroud and one from Wotton-under-Edge.

The two passengers had been released before the fire engines arrived, although firemen were on the scene until 3.15am making the vehicle safe and disconnecting the battery.

Residents and road users have repeatedly highlighted the dangers of this stretch of road, with 500 people signing a petition last month calling on Gloucestershire County Council to reduce the speed limit from 40mph to 30mph. GCC had responded by saying a recent investigation showed the road did not have a significant accident record but the situation would be monitored.

Veronica Bruce, 66, who has lived on the road for 40 years, organised the petition and said she was furious at the reaction from GCC and hoped the latest accident would change their minds.

"It’s unbelievable, it’s an absolutely horrendous road. I am very angry about this," she said.

"Over 500 people is a lot of people and they are also very angry about this. Now they know about this accident, they are all going to be writing to the council straightaway."

Ms Bruce, who runs Wotton Animal Centre, saw a car crash into the wall outside her home in March and said she was going to ask Gloucestershire Highways’ department to see the accident record for the road.

Across the roundabout past Renishaw there is a 30mph zone through Charfield with numerous traffic calming measures, which are under South Gloucestershire Council's control.

One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said he was determined to improve safety along New Road.

"This is an extreme case, but the speeding is a problem," he said. "Nothing will be done about it until someone dies."

Highways manager Richard Gray said: "In consultation with the police, the existing speed limit has been recently reviewed and both authorities consider it to be appropriate for this type of road.

"The full details and circumstances of the crash have yet to be released and it would be inappropriate to comment on it."

* A police spokesman said the 27-year-old Wotton driver had been arrested on suspicion of drink driving but had been allowed to attend hospital. He was told that he had not been de-arrested while investigations continued.

A blood sample was taken from the driver to ascertain whether he was over the limit and officers are waiting on the results before taking further action.

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