Insurance firm to be hit with £25,000 bridge repair bill after driver's crash

The damaged bridge on Layer Road in Colchester <i>(Image: Public)</i>
The damaged bridge on Layer Road in Colchester (Image: Public)

WORRIED residents have called for action on a busy Colchester road where a car crash into and destroyed a bridge.

The incident happened on Layer Road, between Colchester and Layer de la Haye, and came just weeks after the bridge had been repaired.

County Hall says the £25,000 repair bill will be picked up by the motorist's insurance company.

Temporary traffic lights have been put in place until works to repair the bridge can begin in June.

Residents campaigned for two years to get the road’s speed limit down to 30mph, and in 2016 were finally granted a reduction to 40mph.

Nearby resident Marguerite Haddrell said: “This really now is urgent.

“Are Essex County Council going to wait until a motorist or pedestrian is killed on this section of the highway? Surely enough is enough.

“This section of Layer Road from Colchester into Layer de la Haye has been an accident blackspot for years. Even though the speed limit has been reduced to 40mph, this has never been policed.

“It is evident that cars travel far too fast on the stretch of the highway some 300 yards before the bridge resulting in the continuing number of collisions at the same part of the bridge.

“Urgent action from Essex County Highways is now needed not only to introduce measures to slow drivers down on the approach to the bridge, but also to create a safe footpath across the bridge as one does not exist.”

She added: “If this situation continues either a motorist or a pedestrian could again lose their life.”

Ms Haddrell started a petition for the reduction of the speed limit and received a letter from a woman in Felixstowe in response saying that it “amazes” her that accidents still happen.

The writer described that 47 years ago, her sister-in-law was walking with her baby in a pram across the bridge when a vehicle ran into them. The baby was fatally hit.

A spokesman for Essex Highways said: "Following a collision by a motorist on Tuesday morning (May 21), we have installed temporary two-way traffic signals on Layer de la Haye bridge to maintain safety.

"Repair works are due to start on 10 June and are likely to cost over £25,000, which will be charged to the insurance company of the motorist involved.”