Fresh calls for A329M crash barriersBy Anna Roberts
February 10, 2010
Relatives of people killed on the A329M where a 23-year-old man died on Friday have renewed calls for crash barriers to be installed.
RAF technician Paul Payne died instantly just past junction 10 eastbound following the 5.30pm crash.
His Fiat Punto crossed the open central reservation and collided with a Ford Transit travelling in the opposite direction.
The van driver, Colin Cowdell, added his voice to calls for a barrier to prevent further deaths.
His plea echoes those of 31-year-old Giles Hanson whose girlfriend Caroline Murphy was killed at the same spot in December 2007 and Lower Earley woman Karen McDonald who lost her mother Vivienne Flooks in similar circumstances in 1997.
All three are dismayed no action has been taken despite several calls for barriers and reassurances from the authorities safety measures would be installed.
Mr Cowdell, 47, who was amazed he walked away from the crash, said: “If there had been barriers then maybe a young lad wouldn’t have died.
“He had served in Afghanistan. He did not deserve to die in that way.
“The next day I took my son to a football match and I broke down. I feel guilty because a young man died but I know I couldn’t have done anything.”
Miss Murphy died on December 20, 2007, when her Peugeot crossed the grass bank.
At her inquest coroner Peter Bedford said further deaths could be avoided if a barrier was fitted. A Wokingham Borough Council spokesman said at the 2008 hearing it would proceed with a central reserve barrier and was ‘urgently’ considering a speed limit as an interim measure.
Mr Hanson said: “Nothing has happened since Caroline’s inquest.
“A grass verge, however big it is, is not enough.”
Mrs McDonald said at her mum’s inquest the then-coroner also urged the authorities to install barriers.
The 54-year-old, of Bradmore Way, said: “For no apparent reason her vehicle crossed the carriageway and hit another car.
“If there had been a barrier she might not have died.”
The council is working to secure funding for barriers but has already failed in two bids.
For more see today’s Wokingham Times.