Bury St Edmunds: Renewed calls for 20 mph speed limit after Christmas Day accident
10:00 06 January 2014
Calls for a 20mph speed limit have been renewed after a crash in the early hours of Christmas Day on a narrow residential street.
The crash in Southgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, is the latest incident on a road where residents have demanded action for years to curb speeds along the residential road where cars park along both sides.
Keith Horton, chairman of the Southgate Area Association, said: “The issue is not speeding in the sense that the vehicles that have been involved in the accidents on the Southgate corridor were necessarily exceeding the 30mph limit, but that a 30mph limit gives a message to drivers that is inappropriate.
“It’s patently unsafe to attempt to negotiate the Southgate corridor – with its historic character, narrow road and footway width, junctions and bends – at speeds approaching 30mph.
“It is this unsafe speed, but still within the legal limit, that causes the danger.”
The accident happened at around 2.20am on Christmas Day, when a car came into Southgate Street from St Mary’s Square. The car crashed into a parked car on the bend and pushed it on to the wall of a house.
Suffolk County Council is in the midst of re-evaluating its criteria for introducing 20mph speed limits. While final plans are due to be heard in February, any proposals will consider the number and severity of accidents on the road, as well as the funding available.
The plans are also likely to need support from Suffolk Constabulary to enforce the speed limit, as well as from local residents.
Bury councillor Mark Eriera-Guyer has said he will use his quality of life budget to help fund the works, adding: “It’s my New Year’s resolution to get it done this year.
“Lots of areas across the country that are packed in want these 20mph zones and to feel a bit safer.
“People have wanted this for more than 10 years and it would be nice to give people what they want.”