A140 bypass unlikely

VILLAGES on the A140 in Suffolk are unlikely to get a by-pass in the foreseeable future.That was the verdict today after local people held a meeting with council officials to discuss the future of the road - and what improvements to be made to make it safer.

VILLAGES on the A140 in Suffolk are unlikely to get a by-pass in the foreseeable future.

That was the verdict today after local people held a meeting with council officials to discuss the future of the road - and what improvements to be made to make it safer.

Representatives from the county council, district council and the police heard about the hopes and fears of 65 residents from Stonham Parva and neighbouring villages.

County council transport policy manager Peter Grimm said any road improvement schemes have to be shown to give value for money and be subject to a criteria set by central government.

He felt that a by-pass for the Stonhams was unlikely in the near future.

Mr Grimm warned East Anglia is subject to a regional transport strategy and the dualling of the road between Stansted and the A12 will eat up three quarters of the region's road improvement budget for the next four years.

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The number of heavy goods vehicles in the region over the next few years could increase by 25 per cent because of the expansion of Felixstowe docks.

That would result in additional heavy goods vehicle traffic along the A140, as well as other roads in the region.

Local resident Norman Foster said: “I appreciated the honesty of the reply, but feel because of this, safety measures and improvements for motorists and residents alike must be spot on.”

Another resident said the Stonham part of the A140 road is like a country road trying to cope with trunk road conditions, particularly in respect of the junctions.

The speed camera in Stonham came in for some criticism, and also the lack of police presence on this section of the road. There was also criticism of the 40 mph buffer zones, which were not felt to be effective.

Suffolk County Council transport spokesman Guy McGregor said improvements in the Stonhams section of the road are still in the Local Transport Plan so all hope is not lost.

He urged the Action Group to keep pressing for improvements and a by-pass for the Stonhams.

District councillor Tony Fowler said he came away from the meeting with mixed feelings.

He said: “On the one hand we felt a bit deflated because we won't be getting a by-pass soon, but then Guy McGregor told us to keep plugging away and we will keep on with the campaign.

“The safety measures mean this road is no longer considered so dangerous, but our fear is that there will be another major accident there.”

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