Work to start to improve safety on 'hazardous' road

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

Roadworks will take place in Benton Street, Hadleigh, next week, with car parking spaces sacrificed to improve pedestrian safety and traffic flow.

Suffolk Highways, which will be carrying out the work, said in a letter to local residents that they will be installing a "traffic calming build-out" on Benton Street which will reduce a section of the road's width to that of a single vehicle. 

They also confirmed that they will remove some on-street parking which they say will stop cars encroaching on the pavement. 

The damage to the overhanging building in Benton Street, Hadleigh, is clear to see Picture: SONYA DU

The damage to the overhanging building in Benton Street, Hadleigh, is clear to see Picture: SONYA DUNCAN - Credit: Sonya Duncan

In a letter dated, October 11, Mick Fraser, Suffolk County councillor for the Hadleigh Division said: "Shortly after I was first elected as county councillor for Hadleigh, I was approached by many Benton Street residents who told me of the almost daily hazards they faced from traffic whilst walking along the pavements.

"Many had been struck by mirrors or experienced near-misses that would have caused them significant harm."

After hearing about concerns from residents, Mr Fraser commissioned a data capture survey which showed that in some places there were 100 incidents when vehicles strayed onto footpaths every day. 

Mr Fraser continued: "I requested that Suffolk Highways do something to improve this hazardous situation.

"We are going to try something out, to see if it works, and I have agreed to fund this from our local highways budget." 

The road improvements, which have been supported by Hadleigh Town Council, will be carried out by Suffolk Highways on Monday, October 25, with residents warned not to park in coned off areas.

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Following the roadworks, the effectiveness of the traffic calming measures in Benton Street will be monitored for 12-18 months - with scope for changes to be made if necessary.

Over recent years residents in Benton Street have also highlighted problems with HGV drivers ignoring the 7.5 weight limit which is in place and sometimes hitting properties in the historic street.

The weight limit for Benton Street is clearly signposted Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

The weight limit for Benton Street is clearly signposted Picture: SONYA DUNCAN - Credit: Sonya Duncan

In their letter Suffolk Highways said: "Finally, we know HGV usage continues to be an issue on Benton Street, please be aware that there is a 7.5t weight limit in place and Suffolk County Council’s Lorry Watch team should be contacted if any vehicles are seen to ignore the restriction."

Residents can contact Lorry Watch by emailing lorrywatch@suffolk.gov.uk.


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