Thieves blamed for motorists' speed limit confusion

A LEADING councillor has condemned thoughtless thieves who have are believed to have left a speed sign facing the wrong way as they tried to remove it.

Laurence Cawley

A LEADING councillor has condemned thoughtless thieves who have are believed to have left a speed sign facing the wrong way as they tried to remove it.

Motorists driving north along the A134 into Sicklesmere, near Bury St Edmunds, have been left with conflicting speed signs on either side of the road.

On one side of the road, the speed sign says it is a 40mph zone. On the other side of the road is the correct 30mph notification.


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It is thought the conflicting signs are the result of thieves who have tried to steal the sign for its scrap value but were unsuccessful.

As a result the sign now faces the wrong way.

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It is the second time in just a few weeks that a road sign in the south Bury area has been left facing the wrong way - something which could be putting the public at risk, council chiefs have warned.

Terry Clements, who is both councillor for the area at St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Suffolk County Council, and transport and planning portfolio holder on the borough council, said he had heard about the sign and planned to get something done about it as soon as possible.

He added a similar incident had happened in nearby Stanningfield recently. “I wonder whether somebody has tried to take it because we've had a whole load of signs which have gone from around here.

“It is costing the county council a fortune and it is dangerous as well.”

One motorist, who spotted the sign yesterday but asked not to be named, said: “Luckily I know it should be a 30mph speed limit. I imagine somebody has forced the sign around 180 degrees as a jape.

“But for those who don't know this road there's the possibility of drivers unwittingly speeding through the village, putting people's safety at risk.”

In the past few months hundreds of traffic signs, some of which have carried important safety messages such as hard corner notifications, have been stolen from villages across west and mid Suffolk. Police investigating the thefts have been in contact with scrapyard owners in a bid to track down those responsible. The force has also urged the public to report any suspicious vehicles they spot near road signs.

“The theft of these signs is irresponsible and could put road users in danger,” a spokeswoman for the police has said.

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