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Middleton: Villagers call for further action on speeding after 20mph trial

PUBLISHED: 17:29 30 April 2014 | UPDATED: 17:29 30 April 2014

A 20mph speed sign

A 20mph speed sign

Villagers have called for more to be done to stop speeding on their roads.

A survey was recently carried out in Middleton-cum-Fordley of a temporary 20mph limit.

The parish council and local people requested the trial take place and the results have shown that drivers did not always follow the restriction.

The survey was supported and implemented by Suffolk County Council.

And John Morris, chairman of the parish council, has requested more be done to stop people speeding through their village.

Mr Morris said: “It takes more than just speed limit signs.

“The most useful thing is a policeman followed by some sort of flashing indicator.

“From the trial there were no real winners or losers.”

The figures were taken over the period of a week on Back Road, Rectory Road, The Causeway, Title Road and Mill Street.

In Title Road, more than 30% of vehicles were found to be exceeding the speed limit by 4mph, which could lead to police prosecution under the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) guidelines.

In Mill Street, 17.8% were recorded travelling at more than 24mph.

Nearly 50% of vehicles driving through The Causeway were seen driving at a higher speed then in the trial, with eight vehicles driving faster than 41mph – more than double the speed limit.

On Rectory Road, 17.65% of vehicles were found travelling faster than 24mph, and on Back Road, 14.6% were recorded driving faster than 24mph.

In total, 5,470 vehicles were recorded driving on the roads over the week.

The average speed of those vehicles was 21.4mph, which is above the 20mph speed limit, but below the speed limit for police prosecution under ACPO guidelines.

The Department of Transport has asked that local highway authorities consider introducing more 20mph limits in urban areas and village streets that are primarily residential.

A spokesman for the county council said: “We are disappointed with the results but not totally surprised.

“This experience shows that motorists will not slow down unless there is an obvious reason – such as chicanes, speed humps or the very real risk of police prosecution.

“For many years we have supported the principle of 20mph speed limits in appropriate locations, for example outside schools, and many have been introduced.

“Since this pilot scheme in Middleton was introduced, a cross-party policy development panel of Suffolk County councillors has investigated the issue of 20mph schemes and developed the criteria which will be used for future schemes and we are confident that future schemes will prove more successful.”

A spokesman for the police said: “Often 20mph zones have traffic calming measures in place to manage speed such as speed bumps, which make them almost self-enforcing.

“However, as with any area where speeding is reported as being a problem we will carry out checks and enforcement and anyone caught driving over the limit with be dealt with accordingly.

“Our aim is to reduce the amount of casualties on Suffolk’s roads through education and enforcement.

“The difference of a few miles per hour can mean the difference between life and death.

“The faster someone is driving, the less time they have to stop if something unexpected happens.

“If you kill someone while speeding, you will have to live with the long-term emotional consequences.

“Those who speed need to realise that they are not only putting their lives at risk but also the lives of other road users.”

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