Drivers ignoring costly road measures

THOUSANDS of pounds have been spent to prevent cars from driving down an Ipswich road but the measures are still not working, it was claimed today.

THOUSANDS of pounds have been spent to prevent cars from driving down an Ipswich road but the measures are still not working, it was claimed today.

After years of trying to stop cars from driving along a bus route in Old Norwich Road, Suffolk County Council installed tank traps costing £15,000.

The traps had lowered strips of stone which aimed to damage the tyres of smaller vehicles when they drove over them.

But car drivers have been seen happily passing over the tank traps and managing to continue on their journey.

Scott Morgans, an Old Norwich Road resident and councillor for Claydon and Whitton rural parish, said: “I have watched cars pass over the tank traps.

“These schemes are a complete waste of tax payer's money.

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“Not enough research is being done into these schemes and as a result they do not work.”

Tom Walne, another resident in the road, said: “This has been going on for ten years and it has wasted a terrific amount of money.

“The council decided to put a tank trap up at the far end. They opened it the other day and it has done absolutely no good at all.”

Rising bollards costing £50,000 were installed in Old Norwich Road in 1997 to only allow buses to pass but they had to be replaced when power supplies were cut or the bollards failed to spring back up after buses had passed over them.

CCTV cameras were also installed to catch motorists who used the road when the bollards were broken but the images they captured were not always good enough for prosecution.

Between August 1 last year and January 1 2006 there have been seven fixed penalty notices served on drivers using the road.

A spokeswoman for the council said: “We have heard reports that some vehicles have attempted to drive across the tank traps and we are very disappointed that drivers have chosen to ignore the restriction signs.

“We would like to remind drivers that this section of Old Norwich Road is restricted to buses only and that the area is covered by CCTV.

“We consider the combination of the restriction signs, CCTV and the tank trap to be a suitable deterrent. Any vehicle crossing the tank trap slowly is clearly visible on the CCTV.

“A Suffolk County Council engineer has tested the tank trap in a variety of vehicles. The clearance is minimal and drivers risk serious damage to the underside of their vehicle if they attempt to drive across the tank trap.”

Weblink: www.suffolk.gov.uk

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