Safety drive at accident blackspot
WIDESCALE safety measures at an accident blackspot near an American air base have brought a mixed reaction among residents living by the road.Work on the A1101 in Mildenhall started yesterday after five Americans were killed in just two weeks on the road - including a mother and her three children.
WIDESCALE safety measures at an accident blackspot near an American air base have brought a mixed reaction among residents living by the road.
Work on the A1101 in Mildenhall started yesterday after five Americans were killed in just two weeks on the road - including a mother and her three children.
The road has been the subject of improvements for decades and a programme of safety initiatives have finally begun under a joint scheme by Suffolk County Council, Suffolk police, Cambridgeshire County Council and RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall.
Kay Sallis, who has led the calls for safety improvements, said: "It is a huge improvement but it is a shame it has taken all those deaths for the work to come about.
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"The county council are doing everything they can at the moment but they do have financial restraints.
"But we are delighted the work has begun and at the moment, the traffic is wonderful and there isn't any speeding at all."
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But Bridget Jones, who also lives along the road, felt the measures were not good enough.
She said: "I don't think they will work at all as the measures will not stop the overtaking first thing in the morning.
"It is also a bit late in the day and I think the council has got this initiatives wrong.
"I have been asking for speed cameras for a long while but it now doesn't look like we are going to get one."
The programme of the safety engineer works should take three weeks to complete and includes a white Vibra-line edge lining on both sides of the road giving out a vibration noise in the vehicleif the driver strays on to the line.
Enhanced centre line markings and three-foot high hazard marking posts will be installed while slow road markings at each bend and signs warning of water course beside the roads are also planned. A 50mph speed limit is expected to follow in the New Year.
Peter Monk, the county council's portfolio holder for public protection, said: "The tragic accidents on this stretch of road have had a devastating affect on the American community in Lakenheath and Mildenhall.
"We have worked with the American air bases and Cambridgeshire County Council to agree the safety engineering works and we have also offered road safety advice to improve driver awareness to the US personnel living in the area."
In October, military chiefs banned personnel from overtaking on roads near to both USAF bases as part of tough new guidelines aimed at cutting the numbers of servicemen involved in road deaths.