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West Suffolk: Renewed calls for speed limit to move in line with other villages

PUBLISHED: 10:33 27 May 2014 | UPDATED: 10:33 27 May 2014

Tony Gearing is pictured outside his home in Stradishall where he is campaigning for a reduced speed limit.

Tony Gearing is pictured outside his home in Stradishall where he is campaigning for a reduced speed limit.

A community leader has renewed his calls for a speed limit in a west Suffolk village in a bid for parity with surrounding communities on the same route.

Tony Gearing has spearheaded the calls from Stradishall, halfway between Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill, to have a lower speed limit introduced on the A143, which runs right through the centre of the village.

It is currently set at the national speed limit, with cars having to slow down as they make their way through other villages along the road linking Suffolk’s second and fourth-biggest towns.

Mr Gearing, founder of the charity Young People of the Year, said: “At the moment you can drive through our village at the national speed limit, 60mph, whereas other villages on the A143 like Wickhambrook have 40mph speed limits and still others, like Chedburugh and Little Wratting, have 30mph restrictions.

“Because there is no limit at all on the Stradishall stretch of the A143, motorists switch off as if they were still on the old dual carriageway, and yet they pass by at least three road junctions, two business entrances and four house drives in a few hundred yards.

“Please impose a speed limit to make drivers think.”

Introducing a speed limit has been a hot topic in Stradishall – where HMP Highpoint is based – for years, with more than 70 people signing an online petition set-up by Mr Gearing backing a reduction.

Residents claim the stretch of road is plagued by dozens of accidents every year.

Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for roads, transport and planning, said: “Our highways engineers analyse the details behind road traffic collisions where clusters of incidents are identified.

“This is to identify whether or not speed is a contributing factor or whether other issues are at play.

“We have also initiated a county-wide review of our current speed limit policy, similar to the recent investigation into 20mph speed limits and zones.

“This new piece of work is in its early stages and will help inform any decisions relating to Stradishall.”

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An appeal has been launched to find an Essex man wanted in connection with a failure to appear at court.

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