Calls for speed limit to be cut after second death crash

CALLS are being made to slash the speed limit on a busy Cookley road after two young women were killed in separate crashes just months apart.

Labour Wyre Forest district councillor Christopher Nicholls wants the speed limit on the A449 cut from 60mph to 40mph and speed cameras installed in a desperate bid to stop more lives being lost.

He is calling for action after Samantha Jennings, a 26- year-old mother of two from Kingswinford, was killed in a crash on Saturday, just three months after Natasha Kew, 21, of Stourbridge, also died in an accident on the same “dangerous” stretch of road.

Worcestershire County Council, however, said it would not be reducing the speed limit despite the recent deaths.

Mr Nicholls said: “I’m calling on Worcestershire County Council to take action and reduce the speed on the A449 from the traffic lights to the Caunsall turning.

“I want a 40mph speed limit and speed cameras installed in an attempt to curb speed on this dangerous stretch of road. These tragedies are terrible. Something has got to happen.”

Ms Jennings was a front seat passenger in a black Vauxhall Astra, which left the road and hit a tree near the Island Pool pub, just before 1.30am on Saturday.

The driver of the car, a 22- year-old man, was taken to Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital with serious injuries, including two broken legs and a broken pelvis.

A 24-year-old man, who was in the back seat, was taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester with minor injuries.

The road was closed for about seven hours to allow investigations to take place and the wreckage to be removed.

Mr Nicholls added: “Perhaps if there had been a reduced speed limit their lives could have been saved.

“I think it’s vital to cut the speed limit because we do not want any more tragic loss of lives.”

A county council spokesman added: “We are not presently considering a reduction in the speed limit on the A449 at Cookley.

Comments (21)

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11:42am Thu 13 Dec 12

lizwm says...

Does Mr Nicholls seriously think that cutting the speed limit would have prevented these accidents? They were both during early hours of the morning and both were young drivers. Why should responsible drivers be penalised for others carelessness. They are both tragic accidents and my heart goes out to the families. Perhaps Mr Nicholls should look at what can be done to educate young drivers instead of cutting a speed limit. It is a dangerous part of the road granted but if you drive with care and according to the weather there is no problem.
Does Mr Nicholls seriously think that cutting the speed limit would have prevented these accidents? They were both during early hours of the morning and both were young drivers. Why should responsible drivers be penalised for others carelessness. They are both tragic accidents and my heart goes out to the families. Perhaps Mr Nicholls should look at what can be done to educate young drivers instead of cutting a speed limit. It is a dangerous part of the road granted but if you drive with care and according to the weather there is no problem. lizwm

3:50pm Thu 13 Dec 12

nantgarw says...

This road has been a problem for as long as I have known it and that goes back over 60 years. Yes of course some motorists are their own worst enemies as they negotiate this bad bend much too fast but the only effective way to put an end to further deaths here is to force all motorists to slow down and to physically put measures in place to lower the speeds. You can see these physical restraints all over the County and they work. I for one am quite happy to be forced to slow down if it means a family will not have to stand at a grave side saying goodbye to a loved one. I guess the vast majority think the same way. I find it incomprehensible that anyone would prefer driver training to speed lowering measures at this Cookley black spot.. Go to the grieving family and tell them that and see what reaction you get.
This road has been a problem for as long as I have known it and that goes back over 60 years. Yes of course some motorists are their own worst enemies as they negotiate this bad bend much too fast but the only effective way to put an end to further deaths here is to force all motorists to slow down and to physically put measures in place to lower the speeds. You can see these physical restraints all over the County and they work. I for one am quite happy to be forced to slow down if it means a family will not have to stand at a grave side saying goodbye to a loved one. I guess the vast majority think the same way. I find it incomprehensible that anyone would prefer driver training to speed lowering measures at this Cookley black spot.. Go to the grieving family and tell them that and see what reaction you get. nantgarw

6:34pm Thu 13 Dec 12

Andy@Kiddy says...

Oh lets blame speed again!
The tragic crash at Stone a few weeks ago is already in a 40 limit, so what do you suggest? 30 or 20 mph limit?? Unfortunately people make mistakes and it’s called an “Accident”.
I grew up next to the A449 and one of my friends died in a traffic accident on the same road when he was 18. I have great respect when using this road as it is very unforgiving if you make a mistake.
If you work out how many vehicles use the A449 every year and then work out how many people are hurt or killed it’s very clear that the road is not dangerous.
Take more care and be responsible for your actions. I don’t need a sign to tell me!
Oh lets blame speed again! The tragic crash at Stone a few weeks ago is already in a 40 limit, so what do you suggest? 30 or 20 mph limit?? Unfortunately people make mistakes and it’s called an “Accident”. I grew up next to the A449 and one of my friends died in a traffic accident on the same road when he was 18. I have great respect when using this road as it is very unforgiving if you make a mistake. If you work out how many vehicles use the A449 every year and then work out how many people are hurt or killed it’s very clear that the road is not dangerous. Take more care and be responsible for your actions. I don’t need a sign to tell me! Andy@Kiddy

7:04pm Thu 13 Dec 12

stour67 says...

Are you saying these young women were speeding,?
Are you saying these young women were speeding,? stour67

10:19pm Thu 13 Dec 12

Frank Owen says...

Any old bandwagon will do!
Any old bandwagon will do! Frank Owen

4:57am Sat 15 Dec 12

carlajo says...

A 40mph speed limit is alot safer than the average 60 along many roads in kidderminster!! I myself am a young driver (only 18in fact) but more needs to be done to protect road users, young or old it doesnt matter on age! Too many people are losing their lives due to road traffic collisions and the council should do something to prevent more from happening! Busy dangerous roads e.g a448 comberton and a449 are both extremely dangerous, are both 60mph and in many parts of these roads there are no street lights at all!! No penalisation would come of this, only human lives saved and people only need to gain a little more patience to drive safely!! X again this has come from a 18year old female driver who agrees that something MUST be done! X
A 40mph speed limit is alot safer than the average 60 along many roads in kidderminster!! I myself am a young driver (only 18in fact) but more needs to be done to protect road users, young or old it doesnt matter on age! Too many people are losing their lives due to road traffic collisions and the council should do something to prevent more from happening! Busy dangerous roads e.g a448 comberton and a449 are both extremely dangerous, are both 60mph and in many parts of these roads there are no street lights at all!! No penalisation would come of this, only human lives saved and people only need to gain a little more patience to drive safely!! X again this has come from a 18year old female driver who agrees that something MUST be done! X carlajo

6:53am Sat 15 Dec 12

DOEPUBLIC says...

Surely, in respect for those involved in all the incidents any adjustments should be considered after thorough investigation. It is a disgrace that individuals seek reactive responses without any consideration for those involved. Surely grieving is enough to deal with at this moment, allowing appropriate authorities to respond in there time.
Surely, in respect for those involved in all the incidents any adjustments should be considered after thorough investigation. It is a disgrace that individuals seek reactive responses without any consideration for those involved. Surely grieving is enough to deal with at this moment, allowing appropriate authorities to respond in there time. DOEPUBLIC

12:02pm Sat 15 Dec 12

Maggot1985 says...

"cut from 60mph to 40mph and speed cameras installed in a desperate bid to stop more lives being lost" This is a Silly idea.. If you think how many people Travel along this bit of road..per day an then per week an then per month, you would see that its a very safe section of road. The sad Fact is that cars are Dangerous, an if more people had an idea of how a car reacts to hitting a tree or other hard objects people would drive within their own and the cars limits. Its very sad that people are Dying to have learn this lesson
"cut from 60mph to 40mph and speed cameras installed in a desperate bid to stop more lives being lost" This is a Silly idea.. If you think how many people Travel along this bit of road..per day an then per week an then per month, you would see that its a very safe section of road. The sad Fact is that cars are Dangerous, an if more people had an idea of how a car reacts to hitting a tree or other hard objects people would drive within their own and the cars limits. Its very sad that people are Dying to have learn this lesson Maggot1985

7:53pm Sat 15 Dec 12

mark.lawley says...

the national speed limit of 60mph is max & not a target.
its excessive speed within speed limit & excess speed of speed limit that is the danger
the national speed limit of 60mph is max & not a target. its excessive speed within speed limit & excess speed of speed limit that is the danger mark.lawley

3:13am Sun 16 Dec 12

carlajo says...

If you do not know an area, you are unaware of any sharp or dangeours bends or road surfaces, speed cameras are put in place to save lives so i dont see what peoples problems are with this! Speed cameras may be a pain in the backside for many people, but any sensible person would understand they are there for a reason. And yes 60mph is a limit not a requirement,but if it says 60mph then that states it is safe to do 60! I am unsure of the causes of the accident that i have on my mind (that was not on this stretch of road) but i do think that national speed limits should be reduced in places in the bid to atleast attempt to save lives!
If you do not know an area, you are unaware of any sharp or dangeours bends or road surfaces, speed cameras are put in place to save lives so i dont see what peoples problems are with this! Speed cameras may be a pain in the backside for many people, but any sensible person would understand they are there for a reason. And yes 60mph is a limit not a requirement,but if it says 60mph then that states it is safe to do 60! I am unsure of the causes of the accident that i have on my mind (that was not on this stretch of road) but i do think that national speed limits should be reduced in places in the bid to atleast attempt to save lives! carlajo

3:13am Sun 16 Dec 12

carlajo says...

If you do not know an area, you are unaware of any sharp or dangeours bends or road surfaces, speed cameras are put in place to save lives so i dont see what peoples problems are with this! Speed cameras may be a pain in the backside for many people, but any sensible person would understand they are there for a reason. And yes 60mph is a limit not a requirement,but if it says 60mph then that states it is safe to do 60! I am unsure of the causes of the accident that i have on my mind (that was not on this stretch of road) but i do think that national speed limits should be reduced in places in the bid to atleast attempt to save lives!
If you do not know an area, you are unaware of any sharp or dangeours bends or road surfaces, speed cameras are put in place to save lives so i dont see what peoples problems are with this! Speed cameras may be a pain in the backside for many people, but any sensible person would understand they are there for a reason. And yes 60mph is a limit not a requirement,but if it says 60mph then that states it is safe to do 60! I am unsure of the causes of the accident that i have on my mind (that was not on this stretch of road) but i do think that national speed limits should be reduced in places in the bid to atleast attempt to save lives! carlajo

4:37pm Sun 16 Dec 12

Dave Donut says...

'.........if it says 60mph then that states it is safe to do 60! '

Comments such as this suggest that there is a lot of education that needs to be done!

Also, it might be helpful before people jump to conclusions to wait for full details of the incidents. Unfortunately, there if little information given by the Shuttle on cause of death/post-mortems etc. It is prejudicial to suggest that speed have been the cause.
'.........if it says 60mph then that states it is safe to do 60! ' Comments such as this suggest that there is a lot of education that needs to be done! Also, it might be helpful before people jump to conclusions to wait for full details of the incidents. Unfortunately, there if little information given by the Shuttle on cause of death/post-mortems etc. It is prejudicial to suggest that speed have been the cause. Dave Donut

5:26pm Sun 16 Dec 12

labourblogger says...

Urgent Action is required by Worcester County Council to prevent further needless deaths on the Cookley A449.

How many more deaths must there be on this stretch of road and how many more wasted lives at this known accident blackspot? The bends can be
deceptive after the approach by a long straight road in either direction and speed does appear to be a factor.

Chris Nicholls is quite right to call for further action. In the latest Cookley Labour Newsletter Chris says.

"Thanks to all of you who signed our petition calling on the County Council to take action to reduce speed on the stretch of the A449 from the traffic lights to the Caunsall turning. We are all well aware of the numerous accidents, injuries and fatalities that have occurred over the years – this must stop. We want a 40 mph speed limit and speed cameras installed in an attempt to curb speed on this most dangerous stretch of road. Chris and the Team will be continuing the petition until Christmas, so if you haven’t signed yet – please do so."

This was delivered to Cookley households only the day before the latest accident.

We don't yet know the cause - it may be a tragic accident but one that should prompt Worcester County Council to do everything in it's power to prevent further needless deaths. What is surprising is the response in the Kidderminster Shuttke from 'a Worcester County Council Spokesperson'
in instantly ruling out any safety measures. Just who is this spokesperson who speaks on behalf of
Worcester County Council? The Tory controlled Council appears to have a mindset that traffic must be kept moving at all costs and that speed
restrictions will somehow damage business in Wyre Forest. Already there are proposals being discussed to increase speed on the A449 to Worcester
and relax previous safety measures when the real bottlenecks are within the Towns and between Broadwaters and Black Bridge.

Of course driver education is important. We have a generation of young people who are taught to drive at 'national speed limit' regardless of
the road conditions. While any changes to driver education require a national policy and will take years to implement, only direct local measures will reduce further accidents on this dangerous stretch of road. Traffic calming, large chevrons at bends, speed limits and even visible Accident black spot signs as at Far Forest should all be considered. To do nothing should not be an option.

Our thoughts go out to the family of Samantha Jennings and her young children. Meanwhile, without action from Worcester County Council there will be further needless death on the A449.

Chris Nicholls can be contacted at mail@wyreforestlabou
r.co.uk
Urgent Action is required by Worcester County Council to prevent further needless deaths on the Cookley A449. How many more deaths must there be on this stretch of road and how many more wasted lives at this known accident blackspot? The bends can be deceptive after the approach by a long straight road in either direction and speed does appear to be a factor. Chris Nicholls is quite right to call for further action. In the latest Cookley Labour Newsletter Chris says. "Thanks to all of you who signed our petition calling on the County Council to take action to reduce speed on the stretch of the A449 from the traffic lights to the Caunsall turning. We are all well aware of the numerous accidents, injuries and fatalities that have occurred over the years – this must stop. We want a 40 mph speed limit and speed cameras installed in an attempt to curb speed on this most dangerous stretch of road. Chris and the Team will be continuing the petition until Christmas, so if you haven’t signed yet – please do so." This was delivered to Cookley households only the day before the latest accident. We don't yet know the cause - it may be a tragic accident but one that should prompt Worcester County Council to do everything in it's power to prevent further needless deaths. What is surprising is the response in the Kidderminster Shuttke from 'a Worcester County Council Spokesperson' in instantly ruling out any safety measures. Just who is this spokesperson who speaks on behalf of Worcester County Council? The Tory controlled Council appears to have a mindset that traffic must be kept moving at all costs and that speed restrictions will somehow damage business in Wyre Forest. Already there are proposals being discussed to increase speed on the A449 to Worcester and relax previous safety measures when the real bottlenecks are within the Towns and between Broadwaters and Black Bridge. Of course driver education is important. We have a generation of young people who are taught to drive at 'national speed limit' regardless of the road conditions. While any changes to driver education require a national policy and will take years to implement, only direct local measures will reduce further accidents on this dangerous stretch of road. Traffic calming, large chevrons at bends, speed limits and even visible Accident black spot signs as at Far Forest should all be considered. To do nothing should not be an option. Our thoughts go out to the family of Samantha Jennings and her young children. Meanwhile, without action from Worcester County Council there will be further needless death on the A449. Chris Nicholls can be contacted at mail@wyreforestlabou r.co.uk labourblogger

1:16am Mon 17 Dec 12

carlajo says...

I myself live near this area, and i have driven past the area where the accidents have occoured on many occasions! A 30mph limit is put in place near public areas i.e schools, residential streets etc and why, for the safety of people. And you are right we do not know the exact causes along these roads or another revent accident mentioned above involving a very close friend of mine, but i do not understand why people think there is no point in attempting to save lives!? Extra education is not needed, otherwise young people would not be granted a full uk licence just appears that people would rather rush and speed than slow down, be cautious and potentially prevent another accident or death from happening! I understand that speed cameras cost alot from government funding, but the council could still move speed cameras from a lower risk area to the area in question on the a448. Again, the causes of all accidents mentioned on this section are unknown and may always be that way to the public, but that doesnt mean that the road is safe nor does it mean any cars were or were not speeding.
I myself live near this area, and i have driven past the area where the accidents have occoured on many occasions! A 30mph limit is put in place near public areas i.e schools, residential streets etc and why, for the safety of people. And you are right we do not know the exact causes along these roads or another revent accident mentioned above involving a very close friend of mine, but i do not understand why people think there is no point in attempting to save lives!? Extra education is not needed, otherwise young people would not be granted a full uk licence just appears that people would rather rush and speed than slow down, be cautious and potentially prevent another accident or death from happening! I understand that speed cameras cost alot from government funding, but the council could still move speed cameras from a lower risk area to the area in question on the a448. Again, the causes of all accidents mentioned on this section are unknown and may always be that way to the public, but that doesnt mean that the road is safe nor does it mean any cars were or were not speeding. carlajo

1:19am Mon 17 Dec 12

carlajo says...

The coucil should investigate into the matter on this road further. But something needs to be done!
The coucil should investigate into the matter on this road further. But something needs to be done! carlajo

11:05am Mon 17 Dec 12

50running says...

I live in this area and use this section of the road to go running on the footpath 3-4 times per week. As a runner, I have had many close misses due to car drivers travelling far to fast on the bends - they clip the kerbs and sometimes mount them in front of me. Most drivers are aware but there are a few that feel that this section of the road is a race track and are unaware that in the wet their car will not perform the same way. I am not saying reducing the speed on the whole section of the A449 is the solution, but putting some traffic calming solution on this stretch would prevent more lives being lost in the future because it will happen again. Maybe one day it could be a walker with their dog or even a runner who gets knocked down. I'm afraid to say that signs do help and any speed restriction on this section will help. I understand educating new drivers is a way forward, but one of the drivers that hit the kerb in front of me last week was middle aged and driving a people carrier - how do you educate a driver like that?? My thoughts go out to all the family's that have lost someone on this road.
I live in this area and use this section of the road to go running on the footpath 3-4 times per week. As a runner, I have had many close misses due to car drivers travelling far to fast on the bends - they clip the kerbs and sometimes mount them in front of me. Most drivers are aware but there are a few that feel that this section of the road is a race track and are unaware that in the wet their car will not perform the same way. I am not saying reducing the speed on the whole section of the A449 is the solution, but putting some traffic calming solution on this stretch would prevent more lives being lost in the future because it will happen again. Maybe one day it could be a walker with their dog or even a runner who gets knocked down. I'm afraid to say that signs do help and any speed restriction on this section will help. I understand educating new drivers is a way forward, but one of the drivers that hit the kerb in front of me last week was middle aged and driving a people carrier - how do you educate a driver like that?? My thoughts go out to all the family's that have lost someone on this road. 50running

1:32pm Mon 17 Dec 12

Kidder-mister says...

Although I'm not against the lowering of the speed limit along this stretch of road I don't think it will do much to dissuade those who choose to ignore the road condisions and warning signs that are already in place.

As an 18 year old I used to find those series of bends a thrill to drive through and now older and wiser I still find it thrilling to drive or take my bike along this section. I beileve that we need to educate not just young, but all drivers to read the road conditions ahead.

Placing a blanket 40mph limit on this stretch of road may still not be appropriate for certain conditions but some drivers may beileve that becuase there is a lower speed limit there, they can safely drive to it. We need to start with better driver education, these clever metal boxes that we sit in these days do almost everything for us (inculding parking and driving to a speed limit) but they still need us to determine what is safe!
Although I'm not against the lowering of the speed limit along this stretch of road I don't think it will do much to dissuade those who choose to ignore the road condisions and warning signs that are already in place. As an 18 year old I used to find those series of bends a thrill to drive through and now older and wiser I still find it thrilling to drive or take my bike along this section. I beileve that we need to educate not just young, but all drivers to read the road conditions ahead. Placing a blanket 40mph limit on this stretch of road may still not be appropriate for certain conditions but some drivers may beileve that becuase there is a lower speed limit there, they can safely drive to it. We need to start with better driver education, these clever metal boxes that we sit in these days do almost everything for us (inculding parking and driving to a speed limit) but they still need us to determine what is safe! Kidder-mister

6:19pm Mon 17 Dec 12

DOEPUBLIC says...

labourblogger, It is deeply saddening to see this event exploited, without consideration of duty of care towards those involved. Reactive, emotive campaigning at such times it truly obscene.
labourblogger, It is deeply saddening to see this event exploited, without consideration of duty of care towards those involved. Reactive, emotive campaigning at such times it truly obscene. DOEPUBLIC

3:42am Tue 18 Dec 12

carlajo says...

I aggree with so many people inwhich have commented on this section, especially the person (runner) who suggests traffic control on the particular stretch of road. I am not aiming all of my thoughts to only this road, as there are other roads in kidderminster that need attention to safety matters and i believe cookley road a448 and the a449 comberton BOTH need some thought put into making the road safer for everyone and that does not disclude any aged person! At least some extra warning signs and street lights (4 a449) could help!
I aggree with so many people inwhich have commented on this section, especially the person (runner) who suggests traffic control on the particular stretch of road. I am not aiming all of my thoughts to only this road, as there are other roads in kidderminster that need attention to safety matters and i believe cookley road a448 and the a449 comberton BOTH need some thought put into making the road safer for everyone and that does not disclude any aged person! At least some extra warning signs and street lights (4 a449) could help! carlajo

9:43am Wed 19 Dec 12

Poppasmurf says...

I do find officialdom's concern about 'speed' somewhat concerning and very misplaced. If the local councillor is so concerned, why are there not any signs warning of an accident black spot on this road? I drive along in many times and have never seen any such warning. Indeed, you would think this stretch of the A449 is just another piece of your average roadway. And as for accidents, I notice that the previous fatal accident was on a straight section of the road, despite all those calls for action on the 'dangerous' bends. As has been said, both recent fatal accidents have been in the early hours and involved young drivers. The county of Worcestershire seems to have an inane desire to reduce speed limits, single dual carriageways, obscure the clear views at roundabouts, install chichanes and ramps on residential roads - in fact anything to hinder the free movement of traffic. I wonder what they will want next - traffic calming on the M5 perhaps?
I do find officialdom's concern about 'speed' somewhat concerning and very misplaced. If the local councillor is so concerned, why are there not any signs warning of an accident black spot on this road? I drive along in many times and have never seen any such warning. Indeed, you would think this stretch of the A449 is just another piece of your average roadway. And as for accidents, I notice that the previous fatal accident was on a straight section of the road, despite all those calls for action on the 'dangerous' bends. As has been said, both recent fatal accidents have been in the early hours and involved young drivers. The county of Worcestershire seems to have an inane desire to reduce speed limits, single dual carriageways, obscure the clear views at roundabouts, install chichanes and ramps on residential roads - in fact anything to hinder the free movement of traffic. I wonder what they will want next - traffic calming on the M5 perhaps? Poppasmurf

9:44am Wed 19 Dec 12

Poppasmurf says...

I do find officialdom's concern about 'speed' somewhat concerning and very misplaced. If the local councillor is so concerned, why are there not any signs warning of an accident black spot on this road? I drive along in many times and have never seen any such warning. Indeed, you would think this stretch of the A449 is just another piece of your average roadway. And as for accidents, I notice that the previous fatal accident was on a straight section of the road, despite all those calls for action on the 'dangerous' bends. As has been said, both recent fatal accidents have been in the early hours and involved young drivers. The county of Worcestershire seems to have an inane desire to reduce speed limits, single dual carriageways, obscure the clear views at roundabouts, install chichanes and ramps on residential roads - in fact anything to hinder the free movement of traffic. I wonder what they will want next - traffic calming on the M5 perhaps?
I do find officialdom's concern about 'speed' somewhat concerning and very misplaced. If the local councillor is so concerned, why are there not any signs warning of an accident black spot on this road? I drive along in many times and have never seen any such warning. Indeed, you would think this stretch of the A449 is just another piece of your average roadway. And as for accidents, I notice that the previous fatal accident was on a straight section of the road, despite all those calls for action on the 'dangerous' bends. As has been said, both recent fatal accidents have been in the early hours and involved young drivers. The county of Worcestershire seems to have an inane desire to reduce speed limits, single dual carriageways, obscure the clear views at roundabouts, install chichanes and ramps on residential roads - in fact anything to hinder the free movement of traffic. I wonder what they will want next - traffic calming on the M5 perhaps? Poppasmurf

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