UK: Prince Philip A149 crash road speed limit ‘to be reduced’

A crash involving the Duke of Edinburgh happened a day before the speed limit on the road was set to be reduced.

Prince Philip, 97, was not injured in the crash on the A149 near the Queen’s Sandringham estate on Thursday.

Witnesses said the duke’s Land Rover overturned during the collision, which happened as he emerged from a driveway.

Norfolk County Council was already due to discuss safety issues on the road – described as a “rat run” by one local – before the crash took place.

The authority is expected to lower the maximum speed limit from 60mph to 50mph and approve installing average speed cameras on the road.

Witnesses said the duke was “conscious but very, very shocked and shaken” as he was helped out of the vehicle.

Two people in the other car involved in the crash were taken to hospital to be treated for minor injuries and have since been released.

Prince Philip, 97, regularly drives in the Sandringham area

There were 40 accidents, five of which were fatal, on the A149, which is the main route to the Norfolk coast, in the six years from 2012-2018.

A council report recommends lowering the maximum speed limit and installing average speed cameras along the road between the Knights Hill roundabout and Snettisham – an idea originally proposed in 2015.

The average speed camera system would cover the A149 from the junction with the A148, about two and a half miles south of the crash scene, to Snettisham, six miles to the north.

Residents have previously raised concerns about a number of junctions along the A149, which is used by more than 15,000 vehicles a day.

One woman, who did not want to be named, said younger drivers often used the road as “a rat run”.

Prince Phillip is back at Sandringham, where he has been staying with the Queen since Christmas, and has seen a doctor as a precaution.

Norfolk Police confirmed officers were called to the scene shortly before 15:00 GMT after a Land Rover and a Kia were involved in a collision.

The force said it was standard policy to breath test drivers involved in collisions and both had provided negative readings.

The driver of the Kia suffered cuts, while the passenger sustained an arm injury, police said. Both were treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in nearby King’s Lynn.

A woman who drove past the crash scene said she saw an ambulance and “a heavy police presence”.

She added: “I saw a black, 4×4 type car on its side and me and my son were like ‘oh my word, that doesn’t look good’.

“Obviously it looked quite smashed in. I’m quite amazed he [the duke] is OK actually.”

Prince Philip retired from public life in August 2017 having spent decades supporting the Queen and attending events for his own charities and organisations.

He did not attend the Royal Family’s Christmas Day service at Sandringham last month.

Analysis: ‘Surprise that the duke still drives’

By BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond

There will be several sharp intakes of breath over this accident.

The duke is five months short of his 98th birthday. By anyone’s standards, getting away from an accident like that unhurt is pretty impressive.

There will be some surprise that the duke still drives himself on public roads. But he has always been fiercely independent, and would have resisted any suggestion that he be denied the right to drive himself.

And there will now be an investigation into the circumstances of the accident. It might be that the duke is about to be persuaded to give up the wheel.

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