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A361 dangers are revealed

By Mid Devon Gazette  |  Posted: September 25, 2012

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NEARLY 20 fatal accidents have occurred on the North Devon link road in the last 15 years, new figures have revealed.

The statistics, released under a Freedom of Information Act request, also show there have been more than 50 collisions classed as 'serious' on the road since 1997 and an average of almost one recorded incident a week on the road in that time.

The A361, which links Tiverton and Barnstaple, opened in 1989, but Devon and Cornwall Police only hold collision data from April 1, 1997, and no longer have access to the previous recording computer system.

The figures show that between April, 1997, and July, 2012, on the stretch of road between Bolham roundabout in Tiverton and Barnstaple, there were a 738 recorded traffic incidents, of which, there were:

19 fatal collisions

51 serious collisions

275 slight collisions

393 damage-only collisions.

Of the collisions recorded on the stretch, 13 resulted in a prosecution and 11 for offences which ranged from failure to stop following a road accident, driving of a vehicle while unfit through drugs and driving a vehicle without due care and attention.

The prosecution and conviction data which the police supplied only dates back to April, 2005.

The statistics were provided from the force's collision computer systems AccStats and prosecution and conviction data was compiled using the force computer system.

Changes in the way that accidents are classified have also been introduced in the last five years, which the police say could make the data not comparable before January, 2008.

From January 1, 2008, damage-only traffic collisions will not be recorded unless there is a clear purpose for doing so, such as a police vehicle or another emergency vehicle responding to an incident are involved.

From March, 2010, non-injury traffic collisions have not been recorded or investigated unless one or more of three conditions apply; a driver has failed to stop, allegations have been made at the scene or their is corroborated evidence about the manner of driving or an offence is apparent, such as a driver being arrested for excess alcohol.

The North Devon link is one of the county's busiest roads.

Read more from Tiverton Mid Devon Gazette

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  • barumbcfc  |  September 25 2012, 7:33PM

    By bad drivers I hope you include all the drivers that refuse to overtake in perfectly safe places to do so.therefore making drivers impatient behind them.whilst I'm on the subject lets include all the drivers when faced with a clear road drive along at 50 mph again causing impatience.my view is that anyone driving a car with a clear road in front of em and can't manage 60 on a clear stretch of the link road shouldn't be driving. Whilst I have seen some shocking driving on the road I don't think it's the always the case the speeding motorist is all the problem. That said I agree with the general consensus and the road should have been dual carriageway from its inception

  • thetalkmon  |  September 25 2012, 2:15PM

    rozel - just because the road is not a dual carriageway is no excuse to drive dangerously!

    |   -3
  • rozel  |  September 25 2012, 12:56PM

    The indisputable fact is that the Link Road between Tiverton to Barnstaple aught to be all dual carriageway in order to avoid so many problems arising from drivers attempting potentially dangerous overtaking in the face of oncoming traffic.

    |   6
  • burwood  |  September 25 2012, 12:47PM

    "It's not the road that's dangerous its just the bad drivers that use it!" by thetalkmon, says it all.

    |   4
  • thetalkmon  |  September 25 2012, 12:36PM

    It's not the road that's dangerous its just the bad drivers that use it!

    |   4
  • Brizz_Tony  |  September 25 2012, 11:50AM

    Let's hope the Inspector at the Planning Inquiry into Batsworthy Cross subsidy farm decides against the daft scheme. It can't make the A361 any safer if there are wind turbines added to the distractions on the road.