Win for widow over ‘dangerous’ laybys

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A WIDOW, whose husband died at a layby on the A14 in Stowupland, has won her battle to bring significant safety improvements to Suffolk’s highways.

Clare Mann, from Higham, met Highways Agency chief executive Graham Dalton on May 2 to discuss downgrading the layby to emergency stopping only after her husband Edward’s death last year.

The father-of-three died after his VW Sharan was involved in a collision with the back of an HGV lorry parked on the A14 eastbound layby, in Stowupland, on February 20. Mr Dalton confirmed he was proposing limiting the use of the layby to emergency vehicles only and to reviewing the status of other laybys in the East of England.

Clare said: “Common sense prevailed together with the facts.

“The Stowupland layby where my husband died will shortly be downgraded to emergency stopping only with a view to closing it down completely. It is extremely dangerous as it is on a right hand bend and just before an exit junction. I asked that a further 20 laybys east of Cambridge should be brought into line with their counterparts west of Cambridge by being upgraded to current safety standards – widened with a segregated island separating it clearly from the carriageway. Graham has promised me that this will be looked into.”

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said: “Our chief executive Graham Dalton met with Mrs Mann on 2 May. They had a very constructive discussion around road safety in general and the use of older type laybys and Graham shares some of the concerns raised during the meeting.

“Graham is proposing to limit the use of this particular layby to emergency vehicles only.

“The agency plans to review the status of laybys at a number of locations in the East of England. Following the meeting yesterday, Graham will be communicating with Mrs Mann.”