Residents oppose traffic plan

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Nearly 80 Hadleigh residents turned out to a meeting to voice opposition to a chicane – a traffic calming measure to force drivers to slow down– in Benton Street.

Resident Roger Young said the high volume of residents who came to the Babergh East Safer Neighbourhood Team’s (SNT) policing priorities meeting on Wednesday sent a strong message to the police and planning authorities that the proposed chicane was not wanted or needed.

“Suffolk county councillor Brian Riley did an informal consultation in August after which he said more than 50 percent of residents in Benton Street were in favour of a chicane.

“At the meeting, people voted against it. This is because there is already a natural chicane in Benton Street because cars park on both sides of the road. It’s ridiculous to create another one.”

Mr Young is a member of the resident group called Benton Street Interest Group. Members of group spoke about the traffic problems along the street which is narrow, with narrow footpaths. “Pedestrians are constantly being hit by car wing mirrors. A number of people at the meeting declared they had been hit,” he said.

A county council spokesman commented: “Councillor Riley previously undertook an informal consultation with residents along Benton Street which received support for a scheme. Following this, the highways team were asked to proceed with the detailed design of a footway and priority traffic system.

“It is the council’s intention to implement this system and the associated changes to on-street parking, using an experimental traffic regulation order. This order will last between six and 18 months and will allow modifications to be made, as required.

“Residents would be able to provide feedback or make formal objections during the trial period. At the end of 18 months, a decision will be made whether to make the measures permanent or modify or remove them, based on feedback and overall success of scheme.”