Laxfield: Village appeal to extend 30mph speed limit
06:00 18 February 2014
A village is appealing to extend a speed limit on a road that runs through it.
Laxfield Parish Council has been in contact with Suffolk County Council to extend the 30mph zone further along the B1117 road between the village and Stradbroke.
This is due to an expansion of the cemetery, and an application being granted to allow a campsite to operate at Little Klabang Farm, both of which are along the stretch of road.
The campsite will have room for five caravans and 60 tent pitches and will operate from April to September.
There are worries that pedestrians using the footpath, which will serve the new campsite and improved cemetery, could be in risk from passing motorists in the zone that is currently a national speed limit.
County councillor for Laxfield, Guy McGregor, who put a freeze on implementing new speed restriction zones when highways boss in 2012, said: “The policy I brought in was by and large to suggest that they fixed where the speed limits were.
“We would regard the speed limits as a fixed thing.”
However, the changing circumstances in the village from the two applications could constitute “exceptional circumstances” required for the speed limit to be changed.
Mr McGregor said the idea was “sensible” but that applications were considered on a case by case basis.
Ed Morrow, campaigns officer for road safety charity Brake, said: “Brake is supportive of all communities, such as Laxfield, who are looking to lower speed limits in their villages, towns and cities.
“Slower speeds are proven to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads, as well as making communities much more pleasant places to live.
“Brake is pushing for 20mph to become the default speed limit in communities, and calls on drivers to slow down to 20mph around homes, schools and shops to protect people on foot and bike, even when the limit is higher.”
Also, both Laxfield and Stradbroke have come together to join the ‘Speedwatch’ scheme.
Mr McGregor has managed to secure around £1,500 from the Hoxne and Eye Localities Budget in order to allow the villages to sign up.
The scheme allows volunteers to record registration numbers of offending vehicles, the details of which are passed on to Suffolk police.
Letters are then sent to offenders, who can be targeted for police enforcement.
Police say benefits of the scheme include fewer fatalities and less serious injury collisions.
Stradbroke Parish Councillor Nick Stones said he hopes that the scheme will slow down traffic going through the village.
He said: “We have two or three quite fast roads through the village.
“Anything we can do is an advantage.
“Hopefully it will make drivers more aware of their speed.”