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Victory for residents in speed battle

By Jo Deeks on Thursday, 9th May 2002.

Residents of Withersfield Road in Haverhill are celebrating victory in their campaign for measures to reduce the speed of traffic passing their homes.

More than 100 signatures were gained last autumn on a petition organised by Tim and Margaret Marks and more than 25 angry residents attended a meeting in February.

Residents accused council officials of waiting for someone to die before they took action and disputed both accident and speed check figures provided.

Mrs Marks said she was delighted to receive a letter from Steve Boor, of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, last week saying that traffic calming measures were planned and that funding had been promised by the county council.

The letter conceded that initial speed counts were flawed and those done since had shown vehicles were speeding.

A consultant had been appointed to come up with measures to reduce speeds and residents would be consulted when these were finalised. In the meantime the police would be enforcing speed limits in the area.

Mrs Marks said they were not looking for traffic humps, but hoped to see the 30mph signs larger and brighter, plus numbers painted on the road and ideally flashing “Slow Down” signs.

She said: “It is a victory for all the residents, the campaign would not have succeeded without their support. We are also grateful to Richard Spring, as I don’t think this would have happened without his intervention.

“It demonstrates that people are concerned about this road, it is very scary.

“Vehicles come thundering past and you almost feel as if you are being sucked off the pavement.

“We look forward to seeing their proposals and it is important that we are prepared to compromise so that they can get to work on it.”

Steve Boor, special projects officer for St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said plans were being drawn up and it was hoped to have some measures in place by the autumn.

He said: “The speed counts showed that there is a problem. There were some quite high speeds, well above what we would have anticipated on that type of road.

“The county council has agreed to fund it, but the cost will depend on what type of scheme we decide on.”

Haverhill Weekly News

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