A140 limits have cut crashes

A TRANSPORT chief has claimed there is compelling evidence that 50mph speed limits on the A140 have reduced serious accidents.Guy McGregor, county council portfolio holder for roads and transport, was speaking out a year after his authority made the experimental 50mph speed limits on the notorious road permanent.

A TRANSPORT chief has claimed there is compelling evidence that 50mph speed limits on the A140 have reduced serious accidents.

Guy McGregor, county council portfolio holder for roads and transport, was speaking out a year after his authority made the experimental 50mph speed limits on the notorious road permanent.

The limit was first introduced in June 2004 in a bid to improve safety on the A140, which had claimed more than 75 lives during the past 26 years.

Since 2004, there have been ten serious accidents along the entire Suffolk stretch of the A140, compared with 20 for the previous three years. Five people died between 2004 and 2006 compared with six for the three years preceding that.

Mr McGregor said: “Our committee reports have shown compelling evidence that the 50mph speed limits have been effective, and fatal and seriously injured numbers have reduced.

“No doubt the A140 is not fit for purpose. The capital costs of any major improvement would have to be borne by the Government and they have made it clear that, since detrunking, they have no regional priorities for doing this.”

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Mr McGregor said it was Suffolk County Council's responsibility to continue with lower cost improvements, which had been effective so far.

And he said that the authority has recently consulted on the speed limits on the A140 and will be modifying these next spring.

The 40mph buffers will be removed, some of the 30mph limits through villages extended and the 50mph limit kept elsewhere, as well as the 40mph limit through Brome.

Anthony Fowler, who lives at Earl Stonham just off the A140 and represents the Stonhams on Mid Suffolk District Council, said the fact that the 50mph limit was needed showed how dangerous the road was.

He felt that keeping the speed down was one way of cutting accidents, but it was not a long term solution.

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