‘We want action, not just words’ - village community’s fight against traffic
PUBLISHED: 16:30 16 October 2020
A village community is calling on Suffolk County Council to “keep us safe” by tackling the long-running issue of traffic that is blighting their lives.
Fornham All Saints, near Bury St Edmunds, wants to highlight the problem it is facing with lorries “thundering through” the village, workers using it as a cut-through and vehicles speeding along above the 30mph limit.
Elizabeth Hodder, parish council chairman, said the data from vehicle activated signs (VAS) at designated points in the village showed “ever-increasing volumes of traffic and very worrying speeds”.
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And the parish council has just had a film made, by a professional, to highlight what villagers see and feel through the windows of their homes, every day of every week.
Councillor Hodder said: “We hope that the video will enable further conversations to be held with Suffolk County Council highways department in the hope that we can get some action rather than just further words.”
Parish councillor Don Lynch, one of two Fornham All Saints Parish councillors with responsibility for traffic issues, came up with the idea of shooting the film.
He said traffic on the B1106 through the village had increased over the years (by 24%) and with extensive building programmes nearby the volume would continue to rise.
The speed of traffic along the B1106 and Tutt Hill (on the B1106) was also a “significant worry” for residents, he added.
Mr Lynch said: “It is simply unfortunate that Fornham All Saints is the last village as commuters compete to access the ‘holy grail’ that is the A14.”
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Key pleas from the parish council to Suffolk County Council are to provide a pedestrian crossing as well as traffic calming measures.
Mr Lynch said they are asking the county council to “exercise your duties and responsibilities to keep us safe” and invite them “to work in partnership with us in finding local solutions”.
A Suffolk County Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of the issues raised by Fornham All Saints Parish Council.
“Our Road Safety team has carried out a site visit regarding the pedestrian crossing and the speed and volume of traffic on the A1101/B1106 as part of our investigation.
“A county-wide HGV Route Review is currently taking place and all parish councils will be asked to contribute to this in the spring 2021.
“We will continue to work closely with Fornham All Saints Parish Council and the local county councillor to find viable solutions to their concerns.”
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County councillor for the area, Beccy Hopfensperger, said she had been working on the problem of traffic for a long period of time, with added issues of the new Marham Park development and new road layout.
A village referendum, which would cover what to do with Tutt Hill, is due to take place in 2021.
Councillor Hopfensperger has offered to put money from her locality budget towards a pedestrian crossing, but it wouldn’t cover the total cost.
She said: “There’s no quick fix. I have been fully supportive of the parish council on taking the first step with VAS. It’s really important to get that evidence.”
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