Plea to upgrade A12 to Lowestoft

A SENIOR Waveney councillor has made an impassioned plea for Suffolk not to "stick two fingers up" to the Lowestoft area by ignoring appeals to upgrade the A12 road from Ipswich.

A SENIOR Waveney councillor has made an impassioned plea for Suffolk not to "stick two fingers up" to the Lowestoft area by ignoring appeals to upgrade the A12 road from Ipswich.

Brian Hunter, Labour county councillor for Lothingland North and a former Leader of Waveney district, said safety measures and speed restrictions proposed for the A12 could be interpreted as indifference to the regeneration of the north Suffolk port.

Mr Hunter was commenting on objections from the Lowestoft and Waveney Chamber of Commerce to a package of proposals planned to slow down traffic through villages on crucial sections of the road.

The Chamber believes that the only way to revive its area is to make communications easier, and that involves improving road connections rather than making it slower for traffic to get to and from Lowestoft.


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To reach yesterday's meeting of the county council's rights of way sub-committee, Mr Hunter said he left his home in Oulton Broad at 7.50am and, observing every speed limit, took 90 minutes at county hall in Ipswich.

This time would increase if all the new speed limits are implemented. "The biggest hazard on the A12 yesterday was me because I observed all the limits," said Mr Hunter.

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By giving no indication of if or when any village by-passes would be constructed along the route, he said he was "fearful that the message going out from this meeting to Lowestoft and Waveney is that we don't care about its economic revival.

"I am very worried that all the pressure for safety enhancement of the A12 could be interpreted as a two-fingered attitude to Lowestoft."

The sub-committee approved lower speed limits for the Woodbridge by-pass, Pakefield, and the villages of Marlesford, Little Glenham, Stratford St Andrew, Farnham, Yoxford, Darsham, Blythburgh, and Wrentham.

Ron Ward, the Conservative county councillor who represents the Little Glenham area, welcomed the planned reduction of speed from 50mph to 30mph through the village. "Residents have been seeking this for years. Speed at the moment is very dangerous."

A final decision rests with the county's executive committee, and the rights of way members yesterday – in proposing the reduced limits - recommended that long-term improvements including by-passes should be considered along the A12 to aid Lowestoft's economy.

The road became Suffolk's responsibility since losing its status as a nationally funded trunk road last year.

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