Consultation on A140 speed limits
By Jonathan BarnesEXPERIMENTAL speed limits that have slowed traffic on one of the region's busiest roads to 50mph are being reviewed.Motorists and villagers are being asked for their views on the blanket speed limit on the A140 in Suffolk before councillors decide whether to make the restrictions permanent or scrap them.
By Jonathan Barnes
EXPERIMENTAL speed limits that have slowed traffic on one of the region's busiest roads to 50mph are being reviewed.
Motorists and villagers are being asked for their views on the blanket speed limit on the A140 in Suffolk before councillors decide whether to make the restrictions permanent or scrap them.
The experiment, which began in June 2004 and has split opinions among people who use and live near the road, is due to end in December.
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Suffolk County Council has now launched a review of the speed limits and is asking the public for their opinions.
The speed restrictions also include 30mph permanent limits with 40mph buffers through the Stonham villages and Brockford Street and a 40mph limit in Brome.
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The council introduced the limits under the previous Labour-Liberal Democrat administration in an attempt to reduce accidents on the road.
It said accident data showed there had been a “slight” reduction in the number of casualties from slowing down traffic and most crashes had been rear-end shunts.
Guy McGregor, the council's portfolio holder for roads and transport at the council, said: “We have not yet made our minds up about the speed limits and all options are still open to us.
“We want to do the best we can for the people who live near the road and use the road.
“Almost everyone who uses this road has a view on the experimental speed limit and I hope people will take the time to let us know what they think.
“Public consultation is an important part of the review and those who respond will have a significant impact on the decision we make.”
Tony Fowler, district councillor for the Stonhams, said the 30mph limit in the villages had made life more comfortable for residents.
“It is a big issue and while in the long-term I am pushing for a bypass, in the short-term it has made it safer for people turning on to the A140,” he said.
“I'm not really comfortable with the 50mph blanket speed limit on the road, though. In this day and age, I think we should be thinking a little faster for a main road between a town and a city.
“I do understand the argument, but I would think a blanket 60mph speed limit would be more appropriate.”
The lowered speed limits have also come in for criticism from highway bosses who manage the Norfolk stretch of the A140.
Adrian Gunson, the cabinet member for transport at Norfolk County Council, said: “Too many speed limits on an A-class roads are undesirable and they are not a long-term solution, such as bypasses.
“Speed limits are not an automatic cure for accidents, especially on rural roads. In some cases, they cause more accidents through rear-end shunts.”
Anyone with a view on the A140 speed limits can write to the Road Safety Group at Endeavour House, Russell Road, Ipswich IP1 2BX or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is also an online A140 survey at www.suffolkroadsafe.net. The closing date for all responses is September 19.