Slower speed limits 'causing problems'
PARISH councillors are blaming new speed limits along the A12 for slowing traffic to a crawl and causing further problems for motorists.Darsham Parish Council is planning to write to Suffolk County Council's highways department over recent changes to limits along the A12 – which they say are causing the "bunching" of vehicles.
PARISH councillors are blaming new speed limits along the A12 for slowing traffic to a crawl and causing further problems for motorists.
Darsham Parish Council is planning to write to Suffolk County Council's highways department over recent changes to limits along the A12 - which they say are causing the "bunching" of vehicles.
The bunching is making it difficult for motorists to get out of side roads and onto the main road, they claimed.
Parish councillors are also critical of a recent change to the A12/A144 junction, which did away with a slip-road. They describe the £70,000 alteration as "unnecessary and ineffective".
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Parish council chairman Ron Reeve said the varying limits, with 40mph buffer zones and 30mph speed limits in operation through villages, were causing vehicle speeds to go "up and down like a yo-yo".
"All that happens is that traffic is now bunching," he said. "What happens is you are going to get frustrated people, which doesn't help."
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Local people had complained about the problem, and parish councillors said their experiences were mirrored by their own at a parish council meeting on Tuesday , he said.
One man related how it had taken him 15 minutes to turn right onto the A12 from a side road, he said.
"There are very few gaps," said Mr Reeve. "We are in the summer season and Saturday is now completely impossible."
The changes to the A144 junction, where the slip road has been scrapped, has also come in for criticism from Darsham parish councillors.
The narrowing of the road and the inclusion of an island caused "queues of traffic", said Mr Reeve.
David Chenery, road safety group manager at Suffolk County Council said the new speed limits on the A12 were aimed at improving road safety, and the strategy had been developed "after extensive local consultation and support from County Council committees".
"Improving road safety was seen as a high priority as well as improving the quality of life within villages through which the A12 passes by reducing traffic speeds," he said.
"At Darsham we have introduced a new 40mph limit north of the Darsham rail crossing to reduce traffic speeds past properties and junctions, and to reduce risks from high speed overtaking on the straight section."
He added that the decision to remove the deceleration slip at the A144 junction was made because it was shown to be "a contributory factor in many of the accidents at the junction".
"We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of the new speed limits in conjunction with the police and seek the support of motorists and local communities during the settling in period of the new limits.
"We expect to see measurable savings in accidents along the A12 and a reduction in the amount of delays caused by accidents. Our aim is to provide a reliable journey time along this road," he said.
He added that they would be contacting Darsham Parish Council to look at their particular issues.