Hopes are rising that a long-term solution could be found to traffic problems at Suffolk's most bashed bridge after the intervention of MP Dr Dan Poulter.

He is optimistic of “meaningful progress” after a community action meeting he convened in Needham Market led Suffolk County Council to reconsider the road layout.

Dr Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, invited representatives of the council to a meeting at the railway bridge on Coddenham Road to share the growing concerns many local residents have expressed over the road layout which has led to persistent accidents.

Despite the bridge having achieved local and national notoriety for the sheer number of road traffic incidents that occur in its vicinity all previous calls for changes – such as the introduction of traffic lights – have been rejected by the council.

Following this latest meeting which brought together Suffolk County Council’s Highways division and community campaigners, however, the local authority has now committed to reassess the situation and explore what might be done to improve road safety at the site.

Only last week it was hit by a vehicle - causing problems for both motorists and rail traffic.

Dr Poulter said: “I think it was invaluable for the council to see first hand why residents and road users have been so concerned about the situation at the bridge on Coddenham Road.

“I was very pleased to bring all parties together to seek a resolution, and the positive response from the council is hopefully a sign that meaningful progress can be expected in the near future. This is something I will be keeping a close eye on in the months ahead.”

Among those that Dr Poulter met were Suffolk cabinet member for operational highways Paul West who joined him and concerned local residents at the bridge and Needham Lake nearby.

Needham Market is currently in the Bury St Edmunds constituency, but under the boundary commission changes which apply at the next general election it moves into the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich constituency which Dr Poulter will be contesting again.