A285 crash survivor urges county council to take action

The crash which happened at a junction on the A285 at New Road, Halnaker on July 9, 2013  CONTRIBUTED PICTURE SUS-140711-111047001
The crash which happened at a junction on the A285 at New Road, Halnaker on July 9, 2013 CONTRIBUTED PICTURE SUS-140711-111047001

A DRIVER who survived a horrific crash on the A285 has relived her nightmare after it was named the most dangerous road in Britain.

Chris Potter, who has an advanced driving qualification, is still undergoing counselling after her car flew through the air when she was in collision with another car.

And she has been unable to use the route home since the crash, which left her with whiplash bruising.

Now the Road Safety Foundation has named the 12-mile section of the road from Petworth to Chichester the highest risk road in the country and Mrs Potter wants West Sussex County Council (WSCC) to step up safety measures.

The collision happened at a T-junction on the Lavant straight on July 9, last year.

Chris said: “That day will be etched in my mind forever.

“I still go to counselling, and have been left with an anxiety complex.

“It changed my life – I’m not the person I was before.

“One witness said he saw the underside of my car as it flew through the air.

“They thought I was dead, but the structure of my Honda CRV was strong enough to save me.

“I was convinced I had broken my teeth, but because I had been screaming, I had glass and debris in my mouth.

“Only three weeks later, there was a fatal accident on the same road. I was so lucky.

“I can’t drive home using that route any more, I take the A27. I had always considered myself safer on the back road.”

Police dropped the charges against the other driver, but said Chris: “The driver was lucky I had done my advanced motoring course.

“I knew she wasn’t going to stop, so I turned my wheel. Police said if I hadn’t done that, I could have killed her.”

Her husband Henry is the Chichester district councillor for the Boxgrove ward, who has long been campaigning for stricter safety measures on the A285. He said: “The whole of the A285 from Chichester to Petworth requires some serious consideration by WSCC highways engineers.

“They need to listen to the people who live near, and use, that road. For three miles from Lavant, there is no interruption in the road and there is not enough warning between the sign and the junction. I have met with highways engineers from WSCC and suggested they put up a signpost sooner, but they don’t like to see big black and white signs on country roads.

“I also met engineers at Upwaltham but they’ve done nothing. Boxgrove Parish Council has been petitioning for a 30mph limit through Halnaker for more than a year. So many accidents on this road have been fatal that no-one has been able to tell their story or warn others.”