Traffic restrictions in town centre to be made permanent

Woodbridge Thoroughfare during lockdown - town centres have been hit hard by the closure of non esse

Traffic restrictions are set to be made permanent in Woodbridge Thoroughfare - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Restrictions on traffic in a busy town centre street are set to be made permanent on Sunday following a successful trial. 

An experimental Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) was implemented by Suffolk County Council in Thoroughfare, Woodbridge 18 months ago to encourage visitors to use shops and improve safety. 

The new rules are set to be made permanent after receiving the backing of people affected by the changes, including residents, shopkeepers, police, traffic engineers and the disabled. 

County councillor Caroline Page, who represents Woodbridge, has been holding a three-week public consultation to gauge views on the experiment, introduced by the council’s highways team. 

She was surprised to discover the Suffolk Disability Forum, which aims to improve disabled peoples’ lives, was in favour of the TRO as cars were no longer parking on pavements, making it easier for people in wheelchairs. 

Access from car parks to Thoroughfare had also improved. 

She added: “It is much safer for pedestrians and that of course includes people with disabilities who used to cross the road and it used to be quite frightening for young children who needed to cross the road.” 

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The experimental TRO restricted access to Thoroughfare to residents or businesses who had their own parking area, while loading bays could only be used for a maximum of 15 minutes. 

No other vehicles were allowed to use the street and drivers wishing to shop in Thoroughfare were required to park in the two adjacent car parks. 

Parking for disabled blue badge holders was also removed and they were directed to use the disabled parking bays in the adjacent Hamblin Road and Oak Lane car parks. 

Special conditions were put in place for taxis. 

Woodbridge county councillor Caroline Page. Picture: TOBY MONAGHAN-GRAY

Woodbridge county councillor Caroline Page. - Credit: Archant

Councillor Page added: “Everyone was of the opinion that the experimental TRO had worked well. Access from the car parks was safer and it made it much easier for the disabled to get to the Thoroughfare.” 

Nobody from the county council was available for comment.