Needham Market: ‘Shock’ at cost of flashing sign to warn drivers of low rail bridge

Needham Market Town Council wants a new sign to warn drivers of a low railway bridge

Needham Market Town Council wants a new sign to warn drivers of a low railway bridge - Credit: Archant

A town council has spoken of its shock at the cost of a new sign to warn lorry drivers of a low rail bridge.

The number of tall vehicles trying to go under the bridge in Coddenham Road, Needham Market, is causing problems for drivers, according to the town council.

Numerous signs already give warning to turn off from the road before coming to the narrow stretch of tarmac leading to the bridge.

But the town council wants to erect a new flashing sign giving a visual and audible warning to drivers.

Town clerk, Kevin Hunter, said he was not expecting the sign to cost £20,000.

He said: “The councillors were shocked by the cost. No matter how many signs are put up people ignore them.

“It could be a question of foreign lorry drivers who are not interpreting them. If there was something which sets off a sign - an audible sign, something really tangible to alert them - that could work.

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“The current signs appear not to be sufficient to stop lorry drivers from coming into Needham Market.

“At the end of the day there has to be a solution because of the effect it has. But it is not within the town council to spend that sort of money.”

Lorry drivers failing to see the signs are being forced to make difficult three-point turns outside the popular family recreation area Needham Lakes.

Signs on the road warn of the eight foot (two and a half metre) height restriction at the bridge.

The cost of the sign was given by Suffolk County Council.

A spokeswoman for the county council said: “We have provided a budget estimate to the town council in regards to signage at the low bridge near Needham Lakes.

“Detailed design and analysis would have to occur before a final costing takes place. We are currently working with the town council to develop a wider transport plan for Needham Market as a whole.

“Funding bids and allocations will take place once a transport plan has been agreed.”

The town council has spoken to Julia Truelove, county councillor for Needham Market, about funding the sign.