THERE are 'no plans' to make changes to a 'dangerous' road after a lorry crash which killed thousands of chickens.

And an animal rights campaigner has slammed the “appalling” conditions in which the chickens were being transported onboard the lorry, which toppled over and smashed through a wall.

Worcestershire County Council has said it is investigating the crash but there are “no plans to introduce further restrictions” in relation to improving Holt Fleet Bridge or that section of the A4133.

Thousands of chickens, housed in tight shipping containers, were killed when the HGV came off the bridge and smashed into a property fence and wall at around 4.30am on Thursday.

Ronnie Lee, Vegan Action co-ordinator, said that while the trauma of the crash was horrific, the chickens’ lives are “full of suffering” – including how they are transported, “crammed into crates”, which photos from the scene highlighted.

The poultry were said to be screaming as James Simpson-Stern and his family rushed outside their home where the lorry had smashed through their fence and wall.

The 23-year-old’s photos show crates and crates of apparently dead chickens, strewn across the road, as well as many loose lifeless birds.

He was told the lorry contained 5,000 chickens and he estimated at least three-quarters were killed in the crash.

Despite the lorry being removed within a couple of hours, the chickens remained in the road into the afternoon.

“This is just one stage in an appalling process for chickens reared for human consumption,” Mr Lee told the Worcester News.

“This is an additional amount of suffering, but their lives are full of suffering anyway.”

The Malvern-based campaigner went on to say poultry are “crammed into boiler units for intensive chicken farms”.

“They're put into these boiler units as small chicks and grow very quickly. This causes huge amounts of suffering with their bodies becoming too heavy for their legs. There's hardly room to move in those units.”

Mr Lee said chickens are sent to slaughter at six weeks old but can live naturally up to eight years.

He said around 900 million chickens are slaughtered in the UK per year for human consumption, “almost all reared in these conditions”.

“It’s appalling and totally unnecessary, we don't need to eat them to survive,” he added.

“If anyone is appalled by the crash then they need to realise that even if that crash hadn't happened their deaths would still have been full of cruelty and suffering. 90 per cent of the land animals slaughtered are chickens,” he added.

Many Worcester News readers were also in agreement with Mr Lee, taking to Facebook to complain after the initial story went online.

Christina Jones said: “How awful for the poor birds, the company needs to be investigated about the way they are transporting the birds. Disgraceful.”

Gem Garfield said: “Poor chickens, another reason why I’m vegetarian. 5,000 chickens crammed into small cages for people to eat.”

Mr Simpson-Stern and his family have called for large vehicles to be restricted from using the bridge, which crosses the River Severn, as well as further traffic calming implementation.

“It’s dangerous,” he said. “It’s narrow, even when you’re walking over it, you’re very close to vehicles.”

In May, 13-year-old Ryan Robins was apparently clipped by a car’s wing mirror as he walked towards Holt Fleet Bridge on the same stretch of road, leaving him with a hairline fracture to his skull.

He also had bruising to the brain and other injuries and was airlifted to hospital in a critical condition.

Mr Simpson-Stern said: “In terms of accidents I can think of, there’s not necessarily that many but it’s a major concern.”

“There was the kid in May. He would’ve been hit right near to where this lorry came over.

“They’ve done some strengthening work but vehicles are getting heavier and it’s an old bridge.

“They’ve been talking about this northern relief road for ages. At the moment, this is the only road to Ledbury.”

In May, in light of the crash which saw teenager Ryan rushed to Worcestershire Royal Hospital, county council chairman Peter Tomlinson called for a bridge that is “fit for purpose”.

“It’s a very narrow bridge, with a narrow pavement,” said Cllr Tomlinson, who represents Ombersley division, which includes Holt.

He said “the traffic gets busy whether it’s the morning or evening” on the bridge in question, as well as the large number of similar bridges which span the river in the county, making them dangerous for pedestrians.

“There are many people campaigning for a relief road that would take so much traffic off that bridge,” he continued.

He said whether or not a relief road comes to fruition, the incident is a “great reason to take positive steps” in the area to divert congestion away from the bridge.

“It does point up the need for serious action about getting a road bridge that is fit for purpose over the Severn,” he added.

Speaking on Friday, Jon Fraser, Worcestershire County Council's head of highways, said: “We’re investigating yesterday’s accident on the A4133 at Holt Fleet together with our colleagues at West Mercia Police.

“The road is a major key route crossing the River Severn and is covered by a 40mph speed restriction.

“There are no plans to introduce any further restrictions. The County’s Local Transport Plan, covering the period up to 2030, sets out the issues and our priorities for investment in transport infrastructure.”

The plan refers to a “comprehensive” review of junctions including on the A4133 in Holt Heath but there is no specific mention of the bridge.

It is unclear which company was responsible for the lorry or chickens.

Mr Simpson-Stern described seeing Arla Food UK logos on the lorry but a spokesman denied it was anything to do with the company.