Fears over safety of A342 after death of Devizes conductor
Updated 1:01pm Friday 8th August 2014 in By Jill Crooks, Devizes area senior reporter
Fears about the safety of the A342 at Wedhampton have been raised after an accident which led to the death of Devizes conductor Frank Shipway, 79.
Mr Shipway lived in Conock, near Devizes, and stepped in to became director of Devizes Junior Eisteddfod in 2010. He also worked with orchestras all over the world including Italy’s National Symphony Orchestra of the RAI.
The road was closed for five hours on Tuesday while police carried out an investigation of the scene. The A342 was closed between the Lydeway garage junction and the Wedhampton turn-off and traffic was diverted through Lydeway.
Mr Shipway was trapped in his car and firefighters from Devizes and Westbury cut off the roof to release him. He was conscious and paramedics from South Western Ambulance Service and the Wiltshire Air Ambulance gave him pain relief before he was flown by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance to Southampton General Hospital, a major trauma centre.
He died from his injuries in the early hours of Wednesday.
The driver of the Astravan, a 20-year-old man from Devizes, was released from his vehicle by firefighters. He was flown by the Wiltshire Air Ambulance to Southmead Hospital, Bristol, a major trauma centre, and was discharged on Tuesday night.
The drivers were the only occupants of the vehicles and police are appealing for witnesses to the collision just before 5pm on Tuesday, or who saw the vehicles before the accident, to call 101.
The junction with Green Gate Road is the first turning into Wedhampton when travelling from Devizes on the A342.
Urchfont Parish Council has expressed concerns about the A342 in Wedhampton and Lydeway.
Parish clerk Bob Lunn said: “Urchfont Parish Council has always been concerned about the access roads into Wedhampton and the Lydeway junction.
"If you are coming out of Green Gate Road at Wedhampton it’s very difficult to see traffic coming in either direction.
“Traffic travels along the A342 fast. It’s a 50mph limit.”