Suffolk: Volunteers to get job of moving traffic speed signs

Vehicle activated signs like this 30 mph one on Ipswich Road in Woodbridge will be moved around comm

Vehicle activated signs like this 30 mph one on Ipswich Road in Woodbridge will be moved around communities by volunteer taskforces in future to combat speeding problems. - Credit: Archant

Community volunteers are to be tasked with looking after new moveable flashing speed warning signs to deter thousands of drivers logged breaking the limit on roads across Suffolk.

The new vehicle activated signs are to be put in place in 35 communities – paid for by county councillors and parish and town councils.

In some areas, fixings will be put in place in various roads so the signs can be moved regularly to target motorists on different routes where speed is a problem.

Highways engineers want appointed community-minded residents to be responsible for moving the signs every eight to 12 weeks and have been carrying out risk assessments.

It had been thought volunteers would need “ladder training” but officials say this is now not the case but they want people to be as safe as possible while moving the signs.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said: “There is no ladder training but there is still a risk assessment to be carried out as the highways engineers are looking to ensure that the parish councils’ representatives and community members, who have driven this scheme, will be safe whilst they put up the vehicle activated speed signs.

“Things to consider are their safety on the side of the road and the mounting height of the signs.”

Most Read

County councillor Richard Smith, who is allocating around £8,000 of his highways budget for the electronic signs in Leiston, Knodishall and Aldringham and ten points for signs to be moved around, said he has been staggered that people would need training to go up and down ladders and there had been uproar when this was suggested by officers at a meeting.

He said: “I don’t want to see this project delayed – I want to see these signs up and running by the autumn and I am still hoping that timetable will be met.”

In Leiston, recent speed checks carried out in Haylings Road and Abbey Road monitored 40,000 drivers and found well over half travelling at more than the 30mph limit.

In Abbey Road only two-fifths were within the limit and six motorists had driven at more than 60mph – twice drivers had been logged at 69mph.

Statistics showed in Haylings Road only one in five kept to 30mph or below, and 12 had exceeded 60mph.