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New residents' survey gives damning verdict on road safety at Benton Street in Hadleigh

Hadleigh resident Emma Heath has surveyed locals about the road safety issues in and around Benton Street...PICTURE: Mecha Morton... (7896411)
Hadleigh resident Emma Heath has surveyed locals about the road safety issues in and around Benton Street...PICTURE: Mecha Morton... (7896411)

A road safety survey, which gave a damning assessment of problems around a narrow medieval street in Hadleigh, has led to increased calls for Suffolk Highways to take action, before a serious accident occurs.

Numerous instances of vehicles colliding with houses or pedestrians were reported in a recent independent survey of 180 homes in and around Benton Street, due to motorists mounting the pavement to get by.

Of the 46 per cent which responded, around 61 per cent reported accidents, including 51 per cent whose property has been damaged, and 27 per cent who have been struck while walking.

The survey also found 70 per cent of respondents felt unsafe walking on the road, while 45 per cent felt unsafe driving along it.

It was administrated by Benton Street residents Emma Heath and James Bayliss, whose Grade II listed home has been hit by vehicles four times in just over a year, most recently sustaining costly damage after being struck by a double-decker bus in December.

This is despite a 7.5-tonne weight limit on the road, which Emma said is not enforced and routinely ignored by HGVs. She claimed Suffolk Highways is failing to recognise the impact traffic is having on people’s lives.

“It’s my understanding that the issues have been going on for years and have just been getting worse, as more houses are built and traffic increases,” Emma told the Free Press.

“There are people who say they regret moving here and are not enjoying their retirement because it’s becoming so stressful.

“The council just needs to do something before someone gets killed. People shouldn’t be feeling scared to leave their own front doors.”

In response, a spokesman for Suffolk Highways said the authority takes the safety of road users seriously.

“We continue to analyse injury collision data to see if there are locations where road users are being injured, and whether it may be possible to make improvements,” he said.

“After looking into the incident data for this location, records show two slight injury collisions in the past five years. We welcome the survey results from residents and will consider this in our ongoing monitoring of the location.”


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