Safety fears on Longframlington road as driver is killed

A MAN was killed when the car he was driving hit a tree in Northumberland.

A MAN was killed when the car he was driving hit a tree in Northumberland. The man in his 20s, who is understood to be from north Northumberland, died following the accident on the A697 near Longframlington on Monday night.

His death follows a number of other accidents on the stretch of road in recent times, including other fatal collisions.

Last night, a local councillor claimed the A697’s accident rate in the area is three times higher than that of other rural A roads, which he argued makes it more dangerous than the A1.

The man died after his Rover 25 left the road and hit a tree.

Northumbria Police received a report of the collision at 10.24pm and attended along with Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service and paramedics.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The road was closed for around four-and-a-half hours for accident investigation.

Police were in the process of informing the dead man’s family yesterday and were not revealing his identity.

Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact them on 101.

The accident follows the death of Wooler couple Ronald and Sheila Smailes, 79 and 74, after their car was in collision with another on the A697 near the New Moor House crossroads, east of Rothbury, last month.

In June, Mark Pearson, 45, from Morpeth, died after his car was involved in an accident on the road at Heighley Gate.

Northumberland county councillor Glen Sanderson, whose ward boundary is close to where Monday’s accident happened, last night released figures he had obtained on the A697’s accident record.

These show that it has a rate of 0.38 collisions per million vehicle kilometres on the 10km stretch from its junction with the A1 near Morpeth to Weldon Bridge.

This compares to a figure of 0.19 collisions for an average rural A road.

Coun Sanderson has asked council officers to monitor speed and amount of traffic on the A967 and claims the road’s use by farm vehicles and commuters frustrated by the A1 increases the risk of accidents.

The councillor called for greater use of mobile speed cameras and traffic-calming measures.

Coun Sanderson called the latest accident a very alarming development.

He said it was “not only a tragedy for the individuals and families concerned but something that must make us sit up and look at these figures I have requested and move urgently towards more traffic calming and more speed monitoring.

“It is a duty we all must get on with urgently and quickly.”


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