'Lethal' road junction near college will get safety improvements

gibraltar crossroads ashbocking

The Gibraltar crossroads, which connects the B1078 and High Road between Ashbocking and Suffolk Rural college - Credit: Google maps

Safety improvements are to be made to a rural east Suffolk junction described as “lethal” for its risk of near-miss accidents.

Cash has been secured for changes to the ‘Gibraltar Crossroads’ which connects the B1078 and High Road between Ashbocking and Suffolk Rural college – formerly Otley College.

It will feature an extension of the 40mph speed limits nearby, as well as signs and warning lines.

Currently the crossroads is on a 760-metre portion of national speed limit highway, despite having 40mph zones on either side between the college and the B1077 junction.

Carlford and Fynn Valley councillor Tony Fryatt described the portion of road as “lethal” which “never ever should have been left the way it is”.

On Monday afternoon, the Kesgrave, Rushmere St Andrew, Martlesham, Carlford and Fynn Valley Community Partnership committee of East Suffolk Council with town and parish councils agreed to fund the final £2,500 needed for the £9,500 improvement plan.

County councillor for the area, Elaine Bryce, has agreed to use £4,500 from her highways locality budget, while Swilland and Witnesham Parish Council is using £2,500 from its reserves to make up the rest.

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Dr Richard Nicol from the parish council told the committee meeting: “It has been the most serious road safety issue that our parish council has had for probably the last four or five years.

“The situation is this is a very dangerous crossroads.”

The meeting heard that efforts over the last four years had led to signage at the crossroads but no more, but now has the backing of the county council for changes to be made subject to funding being secured by locals.

Cllr Bryce was praised for her efforts in accelerating the issue with highways chiefs.

Otley and Ashbocking parish councils have backed the scheme, but Suffolk Constabulary said there is a “strong need” for engineering measures to ensure motorists comply with the speed limit.

Traffic survey documents indicated that there were between 2,000 and 3,000 vehicle trips in each direction per week, with average speeds between 44mph and 55mph in the national speed limit section.

It is hoped that having 40mph limits through the crossroads section will keep traffic at a safer level and make using the junction easier.

The funding plans were unanimously approved, although it is not yet clear when the work will take place.
 

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