A140 speed limit could be extended
By Danielle NuttallCONTROVERISAL speed restrictions along a notorious East Anglian road look set to remain for another six months, it has been revealed.
By Danielle Nuttall
CONTROVERISAL speed restrictions along a notorious East Anglian road look set to remain for another six months, it has been revealed.
The 50mph speed limit was imposed on the Suffolk stretch of the A140 in June last year for a period of 12 months to assess any improvements made on accident reduction.
But the county council's caring and protecting committee has been asked to consider whether to extend the temporary restrictions for another six months.
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It has also been asked whether it approved of a formal consultation being carried out with a view to making the limits permanent by the end of the year.
The council hopes that by extending the temporary restrictions it will receive more data on the success of the scheme.
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Data published by the council already showed a small decline in the level of accidents between June and December last year, the period in which the speed limits were imposed.
A total of five accidents were recorded during this period compared to seven between June and December 2003, while the number of casualties dropped from 15 to five.
Donald Burton, chairman of Coddenham Parish Council, said: “It has made it so much easier to cross the central reserve crossings of the A140.
“For road users and for people it has made it much safer. The road was never designed for traffic travelling at 70mph and 50mph is a much more appropriate speed limit. Even the dual carriageway is a sub-standard width and alignment.
“It's such a dangerous road and it has improved the safety for local people a huge amount. What's a few more minutes on your journey time when you arrive as opposed to not arriving?
“There have still be some accidents, but those that have taken place are far less serious.”
But Anthony Fowler, who represents The Stonhams ward on Mid Suffolk District Council, said he was not convinced speed limits were the way forward.
“I can see the benefit of speed restrictions, but I do feel on the A140 they need to think of road improvements and not reducing speed all the time,” he added.
“I accept speed and accidents do go together, but some times I do think they are putting speed limits in places where they're not a benefit. Some of the areas are on dual carriageways and they do not seem appropriate at all.”
A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said it had only eight months' worth of accident data due to the time that went into setting up the new restrictions and would like a full 12 months to properly assess the situation.
A meeting of the caring and protecting committee will be held to discuss the issue on April 19 and a final decision will be taken by the executive committee in July.