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Motorcyclist calls for improvements on A326 Marchwood bypass after deaths of Craig Smart and Simon Ashworth



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A MOTORCYCLIST is campaigning for improvements to junctions on the A326 Marchwood bypass after another collision claimed the lives of two fellow riders.

Kyle Hall (34), from Hythe, wants Hampshire County Council to address the “poor and confusing” layout of the junctions with Twiggs Lane and Staplewood Lane along a one-kilometre stretch of the busy main road.

It follows a number of fatal motorcycle crashes over the years, including one at the Twiggs Lane junction last Wednesday morning.

The aftermath of the fatal collision last week (photo: Chris Balcombe)
The aftermath of the fatal collision last week (photo: Chris Balcombe)

As reported in the A&T, a white Yamaha and a black Honda bike were involved in a smash with a Mercedes Sprinter van around 6.15am. Both riders died at the scene.

Mr Hall, who regularly rides past the junctions – and even witnessed a three-vehicle collision there – set up an online petition calling for action. By Wednesday it gained more than 3,500 signatures towards a target of 5,000.

He wants both junctions made left-turn-only on each carriageway, with solid double white lines and traffic islands installed to prevent right turns and overtaking.

“As a motorcyclist, I hate those junctions. I cringe every time I go past them,” Mr Hall told the A&T.

“There’s been many reports of people dying at those junctions. They’re just junctions that need fixing."

About two years ago, he helped free a Land Rover Freelander's driver following a collision with a skip lorry and an Audi after he said one of the vehicles tried turning right onto Twiggs Lane.

“At both junctions you are able to turn left and right, so you have people trying to cross two lanes of traffic,” Mr Hall said.

“There’s no white lines there. You have right-hand turn filter lanes, but people are just turning right across them.”

Motorcyclist Kyle Hall's ideas to improve safety
Motorcyclist Kyle Hall's ideas to improve safety

He contacted Hythe and Waterside district councillors, receiving replies from many, with concerns forwarded to HCC's roads safety team.

Some improvements were made in 2008 when the speed limit was cut from 60mph to 40mph and a traffic light-controlled pedestrian crossing was installed.

“The daughter of one of the people who died there contacted me and said what I’ve suggested now is what she’d suggested then,” Mr Hall continued.

“She’s really happy that someone has taken ownership of this campaign. Everyone says those junctions have got to change.”

Cllr Rob Humby, HCC cabinet member for economy, transport and environment, responded: “I was deeply saddened to hear of this incident and that two motorcyclists had tragically died. Our thoughts are with the families of those affected.

“Officers from the county council-led casualty reduction partnership will be working with the police to establish the circumstances of the accident and take appropriate action.

“It is, however, very important that we do not speculate on the circumstances of the collision at this very early stage of investigations.”

Mr Hall’s petition can be found at bit.ly/3lBNzvx

Craig Smart
Craig Smart

The bikers killed in last Wednesday’s collision have been named as Craig Smart (38), from Gosport, and 49-year-old Simon Ashworth, from Warsash.

Mr Smart’s family said: “He was a loving husband, a supportive dad to his six kids, and a wonderful son and brother. He was also a brilliant mate to so many whose lives he touched.”

Anyone with information should contact officers on 101, quoting incident reference number 44210400737.

A fundraising page has been set up to help the bikers' families. Visit gofund.me/6fe8e8a3



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