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Your questions on the A34 answered

A34 Chieveley Image copyright Google
Image caption The A34 is a 62-mile route from Winchester to Bicester

The A34 is a bone of contention for many drivers across the south. A stretch of the road which runs between Hampshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire became synonymous with death last year after several high-profile crashes, one of which killed a family of four.

But is the road to blame? Is the A34 any more dangerous than other dual carriageways?

In an hour-long radio special, BBC South asked readers' questions on the A34 to a panel of experts. Here are some of the answers.

1. We see a lot of heavy vehicles on the A34. They are directly/indirectly causing fatal accidents to traffic slowness. Can we restrict them between 09:00 and 18:00 GMT?

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Media captionDash cam footage shows Tomasz Kroker at the wheel of his lorry before the crash on the A34 in Berkshire

The A34 is part of the country's strategic road network as it links the Midlands to the south coast.

As a result, one in 10 of the vehicles driving on the road are lorries.

But although the road has 11% more HGV traffic than similar dual carriageways, there is no evidence to suggest lorries cause more crashes.

In August 2016, HGV driver Tomasz Kroker ploughed into several cars after getting distracted when using his phone.

The crash killed Tracy Houghton, 45, her sons Ethan, 13, and Joshua, 11, and her partner's daughter Aimee Goldsmith, also 11.

Although this fatal collision involved a lorry, it was caused by driver error.

2. As it's a main north/south route for a very high volume of traffic, can it be widened and into a full three-lane motorway?

Image caption Could the A34 be turned into a motorway?

It is true that there is a high volume of traffic on the dual carriageway.

Traffic on the road increased by 1.2% in 2016 alone, but does that mean it is more dangerous?

Road Safety Analysis found the A34 is 30% safer than similar roads.

Logistically, it seems unlikely the A34 can be turned into a motorway.

What is more likely is that the road could be transformed into an expressway, which would mean motorway-style gantries, flyover junctions and better road surfaces.

3. Where is law enforcement for speeding drivers on the A34? Driving at dangerous speeds at the busiest times and in bad weather is commonplace.

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Media captionMoment killer driver meets victim's partner

The A34 does not have any average speed checkpoints or static cameras.

But Chief Insp Henry Parsons said the A34 has some of the highest levels of police patrols across the country.

He added the majority of crashes were caused through driver error, not speeding.

On Friday, Lewis Stratford was jailed for causing a head-on crash which killed 28-year-old Australian Gavin Roberts.

Stratford - who was using his mobile phone during the crash - was sentenced to three years and eight months in prison.

Director of road safety analysis, Dan Campsall, said that average speed cameras could be a feature of future safety improvements on the A34.

The government has committed to spending £50m on the road after a safety review.

You can listen back to the BBC South debate on the A34 via iPlayer Radio.

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