Serious collision prompts demands for new road safety improvements at busy Long Melford junction
Calls for significant road safety improvements at a busy junction in Long Melford, described by one resident as “a death trap”, have intensified, after a pedestrian was hospitalised following a serious traffic collision.
A request to improve a five-way junction connecting the A1092 Westgate Street, the B1064, The Green and Church Walk has been submitted to Suffolk Highways by councillor Richard Kemp on behalf of villagers who are fearful of the safety risks.
A site meeting at the bus stop near the Black Lion hotel was held on Tuesday, when concerns were raised about the volume of traffic using the junction, and the dangers to pedestrians, including children crossing the road to catch school transport.
The appeals for new safety measures have increased in recent weeks after a man was badly injured when he was struck by a vehicle in Church Walk on March 21.
The incident led to the closure of the road through Long Melford for several hours, while the man was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, where it is understood he remains in a serious condition.
After meeting villagers, Cllr Kemp told the Free Press he recognised the problems highlighted by residents and called for the county council’s safety unit to review the area.
In response, Suffolk Highways has confirmed it had been informed of the collision last month and would now be investigating to determine if any work at the junction is necessary.
Elaine Collins, who lives in Church Walk, claimed problems crossing the junction, both on foot and in a vehicle, have worsened, stating: “Something needs to be done urgently to slow traffic and allow a clearer view of traffic coming from the Glemsford direction.”
Fellow Church Walk resident Chris Stevens said he felt in “extreme danger” exiting the road due to poor visibility.
Holy Trinity Hospital warden Alison Brame, whose child takes the bus to school, said she worried every day that somebody could be killed at the junction, because of the traffic speed and the complexity of the road layout, while hospital resident Dawn O’Brien called it “a death trap”.
Barry Hills, of The Green, added: “Action needs to be taken to allow the safe passage of pedestrians crossing the road by the Black Lion, before any more serious accidents or fatalities occur.”
Among the potential solutions put forward by residents to help alleviate the safety concerns include a new pelican crossing, a mini-roundabout, speed bumps, more give way signs, and central refuges for crossing pedestrians.
Cllr Kemp suggested that any improvements could be funded with community infrastructure levy (CIL) money, paid by developers following a number of recent housing developments that have been given planning permission in Long Melford.
This week, a spokesman for Suffolk Highways said: “Suffolk Highways is aware of the recent collision between a pedestrian and vehicle at this junction.
“We are liaising with the police, and looking at past accident records in this area to have a clear picture of any issues, before considering whether any safety improvements are needed.”