Bump today gone tomorrow

SIX weeks after a controversial speed bump was installed on an Ipswich street it is today being dug up.Residents in Old Stoke had the hump over the traffic calming measure, in Belstead Road, because it was too steep for many buses and cars.

SIX weeks after a controversial speed bump was installed on an Ipswich street it is today being dug up.

Residents in Old Stoke had the hump over the traffic calming measure, in Belstead Road, because it was too steep for many buses and cars.

And today officials have taken a dramatic U-turn by lifting off part of the speed bump in order to make adjustments.

Harold Mangar, councillor for Bridge ward said: "The hump is being adjusted because we have had some complaints about it being too sharp.

"It is the first one of its kind that we have used in Ipswich and we have had some concerns."

Mr Mangar was involved in initial plans for the speed bump which was put in place to slow traffic down on the approach to Luther Road.

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Visibility at the junction of the two roads is poor and the hump was installed to prevent accidents.

Mr Mangar added: "People are saying it is no longer a dangerous junction.

"It was my decision to alter the hump. I have listened to the complaints I have received and have agreed to attempt to adjust it. I do not know the cost."

The original hump had a severe gradient because of its curved sides and despite being only 75mm in height it was creating difficulties for some drivers.

The curves are now being adjusted and the hump will eventually become a zebra crossing.

The project has been paid for by Thorington Hall Development who have contributed £1.2 million to Suffolk County Council for improvements to Ipswich roads.

This was part of planning agreements made during the construction of the Thorington Hall estate more than four years ago.

As Highway's Agents, Ipswich Borough Council are responsible for carrying out such work on behalf of the county council.

The cost of the alterations has not been confirmed by Ipswich council but local Conservatives estimate the cost at more than £3,000.

Mike Western, a resident of Sandringham Close which joins the Stoke Park section of Belstead Road, is annoyed about the cost of the additional work.

He said: "What a waste of our council tax, especially given the fact that there is no evidence or research whatsoever to suggest that speed humps reduce accidents.

"Belstead Road has become a rat run because no consideration to increased traffic levels appears to have been given by planners when the new Pinebrook development was agreed."

Mr Western admits the original hump was a hazard because it has created such an obstacle to drivers.

He added: "I think it's dangerous in the sense that four by fours or low slung sport's cars have really got to stop to get over it and you don't know what the car in front is going to do."

Mr Western is also critical of the new mini-roundabout installed on Belstead Road stating: "It is not actually big enough to allow drivers to use it as a roundabout. In fact it is actually a traffic hazard as the bollards block ones view of the oncoming car's indicators."

Further speed bumps along the Sandringham Close section of Belstead Road are currently subject to public consulation.

What do you think about traffic calming measures in Ipswich? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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