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How can Suffolk Highways make the Bell Lane junction safer?

PUBLISHED: 18:57 23 July 2019 | UPDATED: 18:57 23 July 2019

Suffolk Highways are currently debating ways to improve safety at the Foxhall Road and Bell Lane junction, including traffic lights Picture: MIKE WALMSLEY

Suffolk Highways are currently debating ways to improve safety at the Foxhall Road and Bell Lane junction, including traffic lights Picture: MIKE WALMSLEY

Archant

As authorities debate ways to make the scene of a fatal crash safer, one nearby resident has spoken out against the proposed installation of traffic lights.

Questions over how to make the junction of Bell Lane and Foxhall Road safer come following two serious crashes in the area in the space of a week, one of which seeing 37-year-old motorcyclist Craig Bedford tragically lose his life.

Although no concrete measures have been finalised, traffic lights remain an option that Suffolk Highways are considering - which local man Mike Walmsley says could cause chaos for local drivers.

His opposition comes following the installation of temporary three-way traffic lights placed at the junction, used while workers cut back vegetation he says continues to block drivers' views in the summer months.

"Having traffic lights installed would be a dreadful result for local people," Mr Walmsley said. "When the temporary lights were installed, the traffic never diminished - it went back as far as the eye could see.

"I couldn't begin to imagine what it would be like at 8.30am or in the evening's rush hour if it was that busy at 11.30am."

His fears of high traffic are exacerbated by plans for a new housing development close to the junction, which he believes could see traffic stretch as far as the A12.

Although Mr Walmsley recognises the need to improve the junction's safety, he says the ideal situation would be to implement a 30mph speed limit with double-white lines to prevent dangerous overtaking - which he says he regularly sees while doing gardening.

He added: "There has been lots of accidents on this road in my 39 years living here and I believe reducing the speed limit will help.

"You are always going to get the odd bump on crossroads, but with a lower speed limit, they would be only that - bumps."

Recognising the need for change at the junction, Suffolk Highways has confirmed consultations are continuing.

Councillor Mary Evans, cabinet member for Highways, Transport and Rural Issues said: "We are currently looking at traffic modelling and safety of the junction to establish the best design for this junction.

"We are looking at a number of options for this junction at present, traffic lights is just one."

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