Orwell Bridge safety exhibition opens after 93 accidents in five years

The Orwell Bridge in Suffolk

The Orwell Bridge in Suffolk

After 93 accidents in five years – and more than 18 months after a speed limit was first suggested – Highways England is preparing to show off its proposals to make the Orwell Bridge safer.

It is proposing to introduce a 60mph speed limit over the bridge which would be monitored by speed cameras in a bid to reduce the number of accidents, each of which can bring Ipswich town centre to a standstill.

An exhibition showing details of the plans will be held at Sproughton Tithe Barn on August 12 between 10am and 2pm.

The 60mph limit is being suggested after a proposal by Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore for a 50mph limit came under fire from Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey.

Brian Pitkin from Highways England said: “The Orwell Bridge is a vitally important traffic link but has suffered from a high number of incidents.

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“We have listened to everyone’s comments, considered all the objections, carried out an in-depth safety study and looked again at how we can best improve safety.

“A 60mph speed limit will help to reduce the number of incidents along this stretch of the A14 by more than 40% and minimise the impact on journey times for drivers.

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“We will also be improving the road markings and signing so we can deliver a package of safety measures to improve safety for drivers.

“I’d encourage anyone with an interest in journeys on the Orwell Bridge – especially local residents and business owners to get involved in this public information event so that we can discuss our plans for the road safety scheme.”

A speed limit enforced by traffic cameras was first suggested during a meeting between Mr Passmore and Highways Agency (as it was then called) officials in January 2014.

Highways England hopes that the speed limit and cameras will be introduced on the bridge before the end of 2015.

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