Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Creeting St Peter: slowing the traffic

Despite the fact that I found myself speaking against a Conference motion calling for mandatory 20 mph speed limits in residential roads, I am a member of a Parish Council which would really like one in our village.

There is good cause for such a thing, as our village is without footways for most of its length, and the road is quite winding, with at least two blind corners, obstructed either by houses or hedges. Indeed, it is so winding that we can't use speed guns in the village - they need a minimum length of straight road in order to be used.

We have asked for a 20 mph speed limit, only to be told by the County Council that we don't merit one. And it is true that, on the basis of County policy, we don't. We don't have a school, or any of the other things that might qualify. However, we are soon to open our new playground, once the legal issues are concluded, and as we would like the village children to be able to access it safely, reducing traffic speeds would reassure villagers, especially parents.

I did wonder if we could introduce a proper shared space system, whereby cars have to give way to pedestrians, like we have in some of the nearby towns (Felixstowe and Stowmarket, to name but two). After all, as most pedestrians in the village have no option but to walk in the road, we effectively have such a thing, without the protection of slowed traffic. However, it would require expensive engineering and, because nobody has died, or been seriously injured, we are a long, long way down the priority list for action.

So, the recent announcement that 20 mph speed limits are being piloted in Fressingfield and Middleton is good news. We'll be watching out to see what the results are, and if they are positive, we'll be pressing hard to get one here...

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