‘Cars drive over my doorstep’ – Despair in Hadleigh over ‘dangerous’ road

Emma Heath, who surveyed her neighbours and found 25% had been hit by a car while walking in Benton

Emma Heath, who surveyed her neighbours and found 25% had been hit by a car while walking in Benton Street, outside her home in Hadleigh Picture: SONYA DUNCAN - Credit: SONYA DUNCAN

Fearful pedestrians in one Suffolk town are sick of seeing cars driving along their pavement, damaging their properties and scratching their cars.

The damage to the overhanging building in Benton Street, Hadleigh Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

The damage to the overhanging building in Benton Street, Hadleigh Picture: SONYA DUNCAN - Credit: SONYA DUNCAN

Years of scrapes and near-misses have left people living in Benton Street, Hadleigh, crying out for help - with a group of councillors from Hadleigh Town and Suffolk County Council now working on potential solutions.

In March the Grade II-listed home of Emma Heath was hit by a bus, damaging the overhanging first floor and putting a huge burden of stress on her and her partner to fix it.

The incident prompted her to survey the people living in her street and she was shocked to find 25% of them said they had been hit by a car while on the pavement.

One resident said: "My shoulder bag was hit by a car wing mirror when a car came too close while I was walking on a narrow pavement.

Cars reportedly end up damaged as they try and pass one another in Hadleigh Picture: JAMES BAYLISS

Cars reportedly end up damaged as they try and pass one another in Hadleigh Picture: JAMES BAYLISS - Credit: JAMES BAYLISS

"It shook me up and made me even more worried for my primary school-aged children."


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Another said: "I would like to buy a mobility scooter as the walk to the shops is difficult due to my health but the pavement is too narrow to use one safely and impossible on dustbin days."

Another simply added: "We have had cars drive over our doorstep."

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Miss Heath added: "The road was resurfaced earlier this year but it's actually made it easier for drivers to mount the kerb and drive along it.

The Garde II-listed building in Benton Street, Hadleigh that Paul Elmer, 73, hit with a bus Picture:

The Garde II-listed building in Benton Street, Hadleigh that Paul Elmer, 73, hit with a bus Picture: SONYA DUNCAN - Credit: SONYA DUNCAN

"I spoke to my neighbours and one told me they have been unable to leave their house because there was a lorry in the way of their front door."

Miss Heath presented her findings to the Hadleigh Traffic Management Working Group, which includes Mick Fraser, county councillor for Hadleigh.

The three priorities of the working group are to prevent HGVs ignoring the road height and weight restriction signs, stopping residents parking on the double yellow lines and preventing drivers from driving on the narrow pavement when trying to pass other vehicles.

Mr Fraser said: "When I stood for my county council seat, I campaigned for something to be done about Benton Street.

The street is not one-way, but is often too narrow for two cars to comfortably pass Picture: SONYA D

The street is not one-way, but is often too narrow for two cars to comfortably pass Picture: SONYA DUNCAN - Credit: SONYA DUNCAN

"It could be a case of putting in chicanes or trying a one-way system - when the working group next meets in September hopefully we will have some consensus and take a plan to Suffolk Highways."

The heigh limit for vehicles in Benton Street is signposted Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

The heigh limit for vehicles in Benton Street is signposted Picture: SONYA DUNCAN - Credit: SONYA DUNCAN

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