A new speed limit to cut accidents on the Orwell Bridge will be introduced this summer, it has been announced.

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Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner, said the reduction was agreed this afternoon during a “constructive” meeting with the county’s highways agency.

The announcement, which followed another accident and morning of tailbacks on the bridge, was welcomed by Mr Passmore who said it was “vitally important” to keep traffic moving.

“We know that any hold up on the A14 has a huge impact on Suffolk’s economy,” he said.

“Not just from the point of view of local companies and commuters but also the damage it does to the county’s reputation.”

Highways bosses first considered the new limit, which is likely to be 60mph, in November last year.

Mr Passmore has now confirmed it will take effect “by the end of summer” and will also cover the approach to the bridge on either side - including the problematic slipway by the Shell filling station.

Although Mr Passmore said there were “no immediate plans” to improve the slipway itself, he added that it was “still on the agenda” and could be considered if the other alterations did not fully resolve the problems.

At a later stage, Mr Passmore said highways bosses were also considering the introduction of variable speed limits which would change depending on traffic levels and weather conditions.

“Hopefully that will reduce the severity of any accidents that do occur and also reduce the numbers of accidents in the first place,” he said.

With the council facing criticism over the time taken to clear up after accidents, the commissioner also welcomed moves from highways bosses to speed up their response across the entire county.

“Anything we can do to keep traffic moving is really important,” he said

25 comments

  • How to stop the accidents ..well put cameras up and record the traffic for a few months then analyse the results...The garage slip road is deadly ...probably will show it isn't necessary excess speed but the opposite ...cars approach the bridge at speed and as they round the bend they find HGV's trying to overtake ...or pulling out at the last minute on the incline .....or a slow moving or agricultural vehicle travelling at 30 mph ....solutions ...Ban HGV's from the outside lane ...ban slow moving vehicles at peak times

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    ukmartian

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Why is it that HGV's are always assumed to be the culprits in all accidents on the A14... just because they cannot go as fast as a car does that make them more of a problem.. surely the main reason for accidents on or near the bridge is due to people not being aware of what is happening right in front of them.. it would be interesting to see the statistics from the regular accidents that seem to occur on an almost daily basis of late to see what the findings where on the cause of them. Anyone who regularly drives over the bridge is only to aware of the shortcomings of the slip road from the garage, so surely they should adapt their driving to accommodate it. If people stopped being so bullish with their attitude behind the wheel things would be a lot better. Its not always the lorries that are causing the problem, these guys all drive for a living and most of them do so in very professional manner, show them some respect and most will show you the same back..

    Report this comment

    Karen Stockdale

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • simple [ move the petrol station.]

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Although the speed of some doesn't help, it is the length and position (on a bend) that is the cause. Why can't these people see this ?

    Report this comment

    Andrew Ward

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Make the fuel station slip road bigger so cars can build up their speed to enter the dual carriage way like any other slip road instead of pulling out at 5mph causing everyone slamming on theirs brakes or swerving into the other lane, problem 1 solved. Problem 2 , make the hole of the bridge 2 speed limits, 50mph which will force lorries and hgv to stay in that lane! Fast lane 70 mph !

    Report this comment

    Matthew Shapland

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • I love how everyone is so sure of what the problem is. Have you seen the accident data? The very fact people are aware this slip road is short means they take more care when using this stretch of road - as is often the case with most perceived problem sites within Suffolk. Of course, there is a chance it is part of the issue, but the people who create these schemes are privy to much more information than we are and also have a great deal of training and experience in road safety. I'm sure this scheme will be monitored and you can all complain if the accident rate does not decrease.

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    ipswichLAD

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • At the end of the day, the 56mph lorry overtaking the 55mph lorry is not a "problem". It causes tailbacks but is not a safety issue in itself and thus not illegal. Probably the better solution is to widen the A14 East Bound to Felixstowe between the Orwell Bridge (after) and Nacton Road junction with traffic management to filter between those wanting to use the Orwell Bridge to get across town (to J57) in the left lane (slip way onto it), A12-bound in the middle and A14 to Felixstowe in the right lane. Using advance warnings from as far back as Copdock would give people the opportunity to get into the right lane.West Bound before the Orwell Bridge the slip way could be lengthened and the entrance slip way should be widened - if that doesn't solve the problem then you could implement an enforced traffic management system where vehicles leaving the Shell garage are subject to traffic light control and the left lane between the slip lanes with rumble strips and SLOW markings enforced by adequate road signs alerting drivers of vehicles joining the road. Not perfect but the road is far from designed well. Of course an easier fix is to stick rumble strips on the lengthened slip way back on to the A14.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Accidents are going to happen, and traffic is going to go through the town centre. A single accident on the bridge is going to cause chaos throughout "Travel Ipswich" But at least we have the Waterfront one way system...

    Report this comment

    Winston Barrington Jr.

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • I'm still gonna do a 100

    Report this comment

    Mickola1984

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Once again decisions are made that will have NO EFFECT, yet will probably cost us money in the process as taxpayers. Better signage and eliminating overtaking HGV's would have been a better improvement. Still who are we to complain, after all we only LIVE HERE and will only PAY for these pointless improvements.

    Report this comment

    oilburner1978

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Do these road planners ever drive on this stretch of road? During peak times you can be doing the speed limit all the way to the bridge and then be doing between 40 and 55 all the way up it. The problem is three fold. Firstly, the road is far too small for the volume of traffic at that time in the morning. Add this the usual load, the thousands of extra jobs recently created at Europa park and you can see whats going to happen! Second, lorries are forced todecide to pull out somewhere around the shell station, making their dreary over-take all the way up one side of the bridge take an eon to complete and holding back all other traffic until they decide to move back in again. Lastly, the slip road exit is short yes, but seriously, just sit and wait for a gap. Its no shorter than 70% of the other slip roads on the way down to Colchester. A lot of the slip roads on the A12 & A14 are of this older type designed without modern traffic loads in mind. People do tailgate around the area but can you imagine if everyone kept the required 2 seconds apart, it would achieve nothing except for the traffic jam would be 4x as long as Mr boy racer would see all these courteous spaces as a place to park his modified Corsa, so then you brake to create a gap and some other tool squeezes in.

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    Chris Hawkins

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • uk Martian Well said could not agree more .sadly the muppets in control won't listen

    Report this comment

    Town watch

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • 1mile@70mph=50seconds. 1mile@50mph=70seconds. 20 seconds that costs nothing( in fact you save in fuel) requires no road works, saves hours from the road being blocked and congestion in the town and possibly a few serious injuries. What's not to like?

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    IanW

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • I drive this route daily and during the rush hour due to the volume of traffic, it is rare to achieve 60 mph between the Nacton and Wherstead Junctions, so I don't think this limit will help whatsoever. Why not stick one of those money making camera vans in the Shell garage slip road and see how many break the 60 mph speed limit? minimal cost and valuable data. Instead the authorities put these vans discretely on fast safe stretches of road, rather than picking black spots like the Orwell bridge. We have also learnt from Mr Passmore today that the £70 million electronic signs are controlled from South Mimms, underlining the total lack of useful local information. Why can't they have warnings prior to the shell garage to slow down - signs are useless !!!!

    Report this comment

    soapbox

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • I agree with Matthew Shapland, a lot of the trouble heading west is caused by the slip road coming out of the Shell filling station, which ought to be longer - and drivers need to know that being on a slip road DOES NOT give them the automatic right to pull out onto the carriageway. If there's not a safe gap to move into, they should stop and wait until there is. It would also help to have chevrons both sides, the full length of the bridge, so that people can ensure they stay two chevrons from the vehicle in front - not that they will.

    Report this comment

    PC Plod

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • 1mile@70mph=50seconds. 1mile@50mph=70seconds. 20 seconds that costs nothing( in fact you save in fuel) requires no road works, saves hours from the road being blocked and congestion in the town and possibly a few serious injuries. What's not to like?

    Report this comment

    IanW

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Accidents are going to happen, and traffic is going to go through the town centre. A single accident on the bridge is going to cause chaos throughout "Travel Ipswich" But at least we have the Waterfront one way system...

    Report this comment

    Winston Barrington Jr.

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Irrespective of speed limits accidents will continue to happen. Moreover when one happens, or more likely a breakdown, the emphasis should be on returning the road to a useable condition. For example, yesterday 29 January, two cars collided on the bridge. Rather than clear the cars with the present Police 4x4 vehicle, instead the Police coned off the lane and waved people past. The end result of this is congestion, people turning up late for meetings and work and potential risk to life should the emergency services need to cross the bridge. Also, sadly, the rubber neckers are then just as likely to have another accident leading to more hold ups and cost to industry and people's lives. Why, oh why, when we as the tax payers equip our Police force with £50k+ vehicles do they not use them for their intended purpose. Reality check Suffolk Constabulary methinks

    Report this comment

    ConcernedIP4

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • As the slip road is so dangerous, why not follow my lead and don't use the service station. There are plenty of alternatives. The petrol station will then close, as have all the "restuarants" on the sit,e and the problem will be solved.

    Report this comment

    Tony Ward

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • It doesn't matter what they change it all comes down to whether it will be enforced. At present people drive stupidly, (too fast, too close, over taking on the inside, lorries that pull out at the last minute to overtake and then overtake at one mile an hour faster than the vehicle they're overtaking, etc), and there's no-one to stop it. The police are as rare as hen's teeth on the A14 most days except when there's been an incident and then they're swarming all over the place. If the police do not have the resources to properly patrol and control, then perhaps we need speed cameras? I have never worried about them because I stick to the speed limits. I totally agree with previous comments that the slip road from the petrol station must be changed and lengthened, and it's a good idea to ban lorries from using the righthand lane over the bridge.

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    Driven Roundabend

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Before the Shell station can't you just put up signs saying left lane services only. Then put an island in front of the services blocking the left hand lane. All traffic not using the services would move to the right and all cars leaving the services would have a free road. I'm sure the speed limit over the bridge would have little effect. As people have said it doesn't matter what the rules are if no-one is there to enforce them or if people just don't drive properly. I'm sure people just don't have the situational awareness anymore - what with last minute indications (indicators are to let other road users know what you are intending to do - they don't give you the right to do something), tailgaters and the of so favourite 56mph lorry overtaking the 55mph lorry!

    Report this comment

    Chris Church

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Its now national news on the BBC website. So Suffolk’s reputation is reduced as we can not even plan and manage our major trunk road to operate at the NATIONAL speed limit. Suffolk is open for business just a little slower then the rest of the country. Well done to all concerned.

    Report this comment

    A Smith

    Friday, January 31, 2014

  • Traffic lights! That's the answer!

    Report this comment

    Bob

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Well another waste of OUR money it will not solve the problem. DON'T DO IT PLEASE !!!!

    Report this comment

    A Smith

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • This is going to do little to reduce accidents. In the peak period I doubt whether the average speed is even 60mph. The slip road is too short even with a lower speed if there is no gap in the traffic. When I use it I wait for a gap at the start of the slip so that when I join the carriageway I'm going the correct speed. I often see cars stationary at the end of the slipwhen they haven't been able to join the carriageway.

    Report this comment

    dj

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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