Red tape delays A12 speed cut plan

VILLAGERS who have been campaigning for lower speed limits along the busy A12 are angered at a red-tape delay on imposing them.Residents of Little Glemham, near Saxmundham, hoped they would now be enjoying the benefits of a drop in traffic speed from 50mph to 30mph.

By Sarah Chambers

VILLAGERS who have been campaigning for lower speed limits along the busy A12 are angered at a red-tape delay on imposing them.

Residents of Little Glemham, near Saxmundham, hoped they would now be enjoying the benefits of a drop in traffic speed from 50mph to 30mph.

But following objections to the proposed new limits, the matter must now go before a Suffolk County Council sub-committee – which has yet to be formed.


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Villagers fear they won't now see the limit in place until after the New Year.

Rod Sore, team leader, safety and signals at the council's environment and transport department, said yesterday: "I understand their concern but hopefully this will not be a long term thing. This is just a bit of a glitch in the system."

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The new sub-committee was in the process of being set up, he explained.

It must look at three objections. One is from Waveney and Lowestoft Chamber of Trade, which fears it will cause a slowing of journey times which will have a knock-on effect on business.

Another is from a farmer, who does not believe the limits will solve the problem, and wants to see a ban on overtaking.

The third is from Marlesford parish council, which wants to take a current 30mph limit up Bell Lane, where the main part of the village lies, to where it joins the A12, rather than have a stretch with the 40mph limit proposed.

The delay affects a series of villages and stretches of road along the A12, including Little Glemham, which will see the most substantial drop in speed.

Peter Chaloner, chairman of Little Glemham parish council, said: "We are not terribly happy about it to put it mildly."

Before the road was de-trunked, the Highways Agency were looking at reducing the limit through the village to 40mph. Mr Chaloner said he believed if it had not been de-trunked, that 40mph limit could have been in place some time ago.

"The aspect of this that has really annoyed us is the committee it is supposed to go before has not been formed yet – there's no people on it," he said. "At the moment we are in limbo."

Martin Pendle, chef manager at the Lion Inn at Little Glemham, described the situation as "a complete joke".

The pub has been hoping for some time for a lower speed limit, after planners insisted advance signage telling drivers the pub was up ahead had to be taken down.

"It's just not happened, so they are still careering through this village at 50mph plus," he said. "It's far too fast."

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council pointed out that if the old system had still been in place, the timescale was likely to have been similar.

Had the matter gone to the rights of way and traffic management sub-committee which used to deal with such issues, it was unlikely to have been considered until its December 16 meeting.

Indications were that the first meeting of the new sub-committee now dealing with it would be in mid December, she said.

The areas affected by the proposed new limits are: the Woodbridge bypass, where a 40mph is proposed along a 50mph stretch; Marlesford, where a 50mph limit would become 40mph, Little Glemham, where the 50mph limit would become 30mph; Stratford St Andrew and Farnham, where 40mph limits would be reduced to 30mph; Yoxford, where 30mph and 40mph limits are set to be extended; Darsham, where the speed limit would drop from 50mph to 40mph; Blythburgh, which would get a 30mph through the village, where the speed limit is currently 40mph, and an extension of the 40mph zone; Wrentham, where a 40mph buffer zone would be extended; and the A12 north of Kessingland, where the 60mph limit leading into Lowestoft would be brought down to 40mph.

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