A FAMILY is counting its good fortune when after a gas explosion was narrowly avoided.

But after the narrow escape the Bridgwood family wants action to make country roads safer.

They want drivers to slow down and country roads to be properly maintained after a vehicle crashed through a wall and damaged a gas tank outside their Herefordshire home.

Emergency services were called after a car lost control at Halfway House Farm in Bleathwood.

It knocked down a wall before hitting and dislodging a gas tank.

Fortunately, no gas escaped and there was no explosion.

The car was a write off but luckily the driver was badly shaken but otherwise unhurt.

It happened on a Sunday lunchtime while Joan Bridgwood was in the kitchen preparing food.

“I heard a load noise and wondered what has happened,” she said.

“We went outside to find that the car had demolished the wall and dislodged the gas tank.

“Emergency services were called and everything had to be turned off in case there was a gas leak.”

This is not the first time that the farm, near Little Hereford, has been the victim of drivers losing control and there have been previous incidents.

She believes that the problem is that because the speed limit on this type of road is 60mph people believe that it is safe to travel that fast.

“We have experience several road collisions on our country lanes over the last couple of years and I feel strongly now that there should be closer monitoring of country lanes and also speed awareness courses should also be designed to incorporate driving on country lanes,” added Mrs Bridgwood.

“It seems to us that the understanding is that the speed limit is 60mph and that it is acceptable for this to be adhered to on country lanes.

“In the latest incident the young male driver colliding into our concrete protecting wall and compromising a gas tank.

This resulted in the police, fire service from Ludlow and Tenbury and emergency gas service being deployed to our premises.

“All this could have been avoided if the driver had employed safe and sensible driving practices and a bit of common sense.”

She said that drivers going to fast is a constant concern for people living in the area.

“It is highlight the concerns that residents have living in these areas, Bleathwood, Little Hereford, Brimfield and suggest to road users to be more vigilant on the speed,” added Mrs Bridgwood.

“A speed limit of 60mph does not mean that people should drive at that speed on country lanes which are clearly not design for the volume of traffic and are badly maintained.

“We did have a village meeting in October about this and two members of the police attended but there seems to be a complete lack of understanding and disregard to the issues that we presented at this meeting.

“My view is that there seems to be a complete lack of understanding in general and that 60mph can be the speed limit for any road regardless of its condition.”

She said that conditions were good at the time of the accident but claimed that like many country lanes the road outside her home is poorly maintained adding to the danger.