By Emma Brennan
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
CAMPAIGNERS for improved safety measures on narrow roads running through their historic village have scored a minor victory.
Bildeston residents who joined the ‘20’s Plenty for Us’ campaign in a bid to slow traffic passing through their medieval village were left disappointed when county highways chief Guy McGregor put a freeze on implementing any new speed restrictions in Suffolk.
They feared for the safety of residents being ‘forced to risk their lives’ when walking their children to school along narrow pavements while negotiating fast traffic. But Mr McGregor has now committed to re-examining Bildeston’s case before the end of April. Following two years of investigations, Bildeston Parish Council has also agreed to commit £4,000 towards a package of traffic calming measures in the village. The substantial balance of the cost will be made up from county councillor Jeremy Pembroke’s ‘quality of life’ budget.
The measures will include one vehicle activated sign (VAS) to show drivers what speed they are doing as they come into the village. This will be moved between two sites at the Hitcham end of the village and on Ipswich Road. At the north and south ends of Bildeston, wooden gateway structures will be erected on both sides of the road, and white road markings will be painted to highlight the fact that people are entering a village. Wooden posts with ‘30’ signs will also be placed on Ipswich Road. Campaigner and parish councillor Robert Lindsay, who described the decision as a step in the right direction, said: “Many years ago, the parish council identified the speed of traffic passing through the village as the number one priority so I am delighted that we have finally managed to commit to doing something and that we are getting good value for money. We will of course continue our push for 20 speed limits and we are hopeful that this might follow on soon.”