A FATHER has said his children have been left shaken and having panic attacks after he had to swerve on to the grass verge of the A120 to avoid a head-on collision.

Robbie Beams was driving along the A120 between Horsley Cross and Harwich on Sunday at about 8.27pm when a car was overtaking, coming straight towards him in his lane.

He said: “I was taking my wife and two daughters to the Premier Inn as they were going on the ferry to visit my mother-in-law in Holland.

“A big car, I thought it was a Range Rover type, was coming towards me with the headlights on.

“I had nowhere to go other than on to the grass verge and this was at speeds of 50mph.

“It was a near-fatal crash - it would have been a head-on crash.

“I thought it could have been someone coming off the ferry but he was overtaking, coming towards me.”

The 49-year-old said he is now anxious about driving on the stretch of road.

He added: “It was a bit of a shock for everybody.

“My daughter Marieke has taken it quite badly - she’s only 13.

“My other daughter Sanne is 11 - at the time she was crying and shaking and Marieke was trying to comfort her.

“But during the night she woke up and had a panic attack - she’s never had that before.

“My wife, Annemieke, had to comfort her on the ferry.”

Mr Beams, from Whiteley near Winchester, said it’s not the first time he has seen people overtaking on the road.

“It was dangerous driving and I’m sure we are not the only ones this has happened to.

“It’s a road I’ve seen overtaking on in the past - we travel to the port two or three times a year.

“It’s a bad road and there seem to be a few bad drivers that way.

“The lucky thing was we had to swerve on to the verge, but further along there are trees and things so you couldn’t do what we did.

“I just took action to get out of the way.

“I got out to see if everyone was OK and looked up expecting the driver to have pulled over but the car didn’t stop.”

Mr Beams has urged drivers not to take the risk of overtaking on the road and said a dual carriageway on the stretch might help frustrated drivers pass slower moving vehicles safely.

The Harwich and Manningtree Standard is running a campaign calling for the Department of Transport to fund dualling the A120 from Hare Green to Harwich.

To sign the petition visit petition.parliament.uk/petitions/221123