County Council 'don't care about our safety' say Benton Street residents

Residents of Benton Street in Hadleigh

Residents of Benton Street in Hadleigh are not happy with recent changes to the controversial road - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

Residents in Hadleigh are urging their local county councillor to reconsider new traffic calming measures that were recently installed in Benton Street. 

A traffic 'build-out' was installed in the troublesome Hadleigh Road on Monday, October, 25, with the aim of improving pedestrian safety and traffic flow. 

Residents of Benton Street in Hadleigh angered aftePICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Residents of Benton Street say the new traffic calming measures put in place on October 25 are already causing safety issues for pedestrians - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

As part of the traffic calming measures, some on-street car parking was removed with the hope it will stop cars encroaching onto the narrow pavements.

Benton Street resident, Matthew Attwood, who lives close to the new traffic calming build-out said: "I live a minutes walk away and this morning I saw two incursions onto the pavement within a couple of minutes."

A picture taken in Benton Street Hadleigh showing the new traffic calming build-out

A picture taken in Benton Street Hadleigh showing the new traffic calming build-out - Credit: Matthew Attwood

Mr Attwood is also concerned about the speed that drivers are now travelling down the road describing it as a "big issue".

On numerous occasions he has suggested that a 20mph speed limit would be a safer option for drivers and pedestrians, only to be told Suffolk County Council would not consider it. 

He added: "Suffolk County Council, don't care about the safety of residents. Drivers are going as fast as they can between the constructions.

"None of us are troublemakers, we just want to lead quiet lives." 

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Mr Attwood is urging Mick Fraser, Suffolk County Councillor for Hadleigh, to meet with residents to discuss Benton Street and explain how the effectiveness of the new traffic calming measures will be monitored. 

Cllr Fraser said: "There has been a big safety issue on Benton Street for decades, we are trying something out. We are giving it a go, if it doesn't work it can be changed, it can be adjusted we can look at other things, we are just trying something out at the moment no one knows what the impact will be." 

Residents of Benton Street in Hadleigh angered aftePICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Suffolk Highways said they will be monitoring the impact of the new traffic calming measures - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

He added that surveys looking at traffic speed and volume and the number of pavement incursions will be carried out over the coming weeks and compared with data collected before the changes were made. 

Cllr Fraser also addressed complaints regarding the suggestion that those living in, or visiting Benton Street, could park in Tinkers Lane. 

Tinkers Lane Hadleigh

A flooded Tinkers Lane in Hadleigh - this is where it has been suggested that residents can now park after the loss of some on-street car parking spaces - Credit: Contributed

A woman who lives in Benton Street, and does not wish to be named, has highlighted the issue of flooding in Tinkers Lane and the lack of street lighting.

She said: "It is a horrible little track, it is passable in the day but at night it is just pitch black. The suggestion that it could be an alternative to on-street parking is just ridiculous. 

"I wouldn't feel safe walking down there at night." 

Cllr Fraser responded by saying if the new road layout in Benton Street was a success he hoped to look for alternative parking in Hadleigh. He confirmed "several" parking spaces have been lost due to the new road layout. 

In a statement issued by Suffolk Highways, Cllr Fraser said: "The highways team are satisfied with the width of the island, as it prevents two-way traffic at this point, whilst allowing larger vehicles through.

"We appreciate this is a significant change to Benton Street; however, over time the changes will settle in and motorists will adjust to the new road layout."

He urged residents with any concerns about roads in Hadleigh to contact Suffolk Highways either on their website  - or by calling their team on 03456066171.