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Ringwood crash delays prompt renewed calls for action on A31
FED-UP motorists faced 20-mile tailbacks on the notorious A31 after another crash brought traffic to a halt during rush-hour.
Hundreds of drivers suffered long delays and were late for work when three vehicles collided on the west-bound carriageway near the Fish Inn public house in Ringwood.
A lorry suffered severe front-end damage when it collided with the rear of a pick-up truck, which then crashed into a Seat saloon car just before 8am yesterday(Thurs).
No one was seriously hurt but the crash caused severe traffic problems with queues stretching all the way back to the M27 near Southampton.
Although two vehicles were driven away from the scene, a recovery vehicle for the badly-damaged lorry took more than three-and-a-half hours to arrive.
The accident has prompted renewed calls for action to reduce the speed limit and to improve junctions and signage in the area.
Ringwood town councillor Michael Thierry has been campaigning for changes for many years.
The council's recent plea to the Department of Transport for a reduction in the 70mph speed limit fell on deaf ears despite the tragic death of 16-year-old moped rider Jade Clark.
He said: “This accident clearly highlights the correct concern that Ringwood Town Council has over this section of the A31.
“We have incidents like this repeatedly, some very tragic and others involving bent metal. All of them cause problems and inconvenience for the people of Ringwood.”
Cllr Thierry said it is almost impossible for traffic to build up enough speed on the slip road or when leaving the petrol station to safely join traffic travelling at 70mph.
A spokesman for Hampshire Police said the delayed arrival of the recovery vehicle was to blame for the huge tailbacks.
· The South West's traffic infrastructure was recently blamed for costing the region more than £165 million a year in a business survey. Many firms felt the area was cut off from the rest of the UK and said transport difficulties results in numerous problems including cancelled appointments, a drop in customers for retailers and the late arrival of staff and clients.
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