Villagers hope film depicting traffic problems will lead to action
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
A community is hoping a film highlighting the problem of traffic in their village will add weight to their campaign for action to be taken.
In Fornham All Saints, near Bury St Edmunds, villagers say this long-running issue is blighting their lives and they are calling for measures to make the main road, the B1106, safer.
Fornham All Saints Parish Council commissioned a professional to make a film, recorded over seven hours in October, as "real-time evidence" of the problems of speeding vehicles, a high volume of traffic and huge lorries using the road.
In the film you can see parents and children "navigating the danger of crossing the B1106 alongside older residents," said parish councillor Don Lynch.
Mr Lynch, who came up with the idea of shooting the film, said the footage backs up data from the Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS), including the majority of vehicles failing to comply with the 30mph limit.
He said the data also shows:
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- The volume of traffic has increased 24% in recent years;
- Weekday volumes are a "staggering" 10,000 per day on a B road through a small village;
- Peak times register an "unbelievable" rate of 880 vehicles per hour - one every four seconds.
Mr Lynch said: "The geographical location of Fornham All Saints means that we are misused as a ‘rat run’ to the ‘holy grail’ that is the A14. The village is simply overwhelmed by the volume, speed and weight of traffic and there is a significant impact upon the quality of life for residents."
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The film hears first-hand from a mum on a bicycle with a small child in a seat on the back.
She says it takes her quite a bit of time to cross in the morning because of the traffic and cars come round the bend quite quick.
She said having a pedestrian crossing "would be much better, easier and safer".
Another mum said she parks round the corner "so I haven't got to cross the road".
One resident, who lives on the road, described it as a "bit of a nightmare".
Mr Lynch said as well as a pedestrian crossing, other safety measures could include speed bumps.
He expressed his frustration with Suffolk County Council's highways department, saying they have fallen short of properly addressing the village's long-standing difficulties.
He said the village was "under siege" and Suffolk Highways needed to not only manage the current volume of traffic, but expected increases from large developments nearby.
A Suffolk Highways spokesperson said: “We are aware of the issues raised by Fornham All Saints Parish Council. We would like to thank them for issuing us the film, detailing their concerns. We can confirm that it has been received and reviewed by our teams.
“We have reached out to a number of internal and external teams, including Suffolk Police for assistance, thus enabling us to gather the data and information needed to look at potential, viable solutions.
“Following the Christmas period, we will arrange a suitable time to for a meeting with Fornham All Saints Parish Council, to discuss their concerns and options.”
A county-wide HGV Route Review is currently taking place and all parish councils will be asked to contribute to this in the spring 2021.
Also, the next stage of the village’s referendum on the options available for the Tut Hill (B1106) area as a result of the Marham Park development is due to take place early in 2021.
“Both of these, will reduce the impact of traffic on the village,” the Highways spokesperson said.