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Speed limit change proposed for accident blackspot junction

PUBLISHED: 17:21 12 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:02 13 February 2020

Suffolk County Council is holding a consultation to change speed limits on the Foxhall Road and Bell Lane junction. Picture: MIKE WALMSLEY

Suffolk County Council is holding a consultation to change speed limits on the Foxhall Road and Bell Lane junction. Picture: MIKE WALMSLEY

Archant

The speed limit could be lowered at a Suffolk junction, where there have been several fatalities in recent years, in a bid to make it safer.

The Bell Lane junction with Foxhall Road, near Ipswich, where there was a fatal accident in June last year, was the scene of a three-vehicle collision last week.

Now councillors are voicing fresh concern that more need to be done to make the junction safer.

MORE: Bell Lane Foxhall Road junction blocked after three car collision

A first stage consultation has been launched by highways chiefs which concludes on Wednesday February 19 after discussions with key figures.

Suffolk County Council is holding a consultation to change speed limits on the Foxhall Road and Bell Lane junction. Picture: GOOGLE MAPSSuffolk County Council is holding a consultation to change speed limits on the Foxhall Road and Bell Lane junction. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

A second stage consultation will invite the views of Kesgrave Town Council and other groups.

The proposal will effectively extend the 30mph speed limit along Bell Lane for a further 70 metres, and is part of a wider consultation on speed limits for the nearby A12.

Planning permission for 2,000 homes near Adastral Park, named Brightwell Lakes, has triggered a need for improved traffic flow.

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Robert Whiting, Conservative county councillor for Kesgrave and Rushmere St Andrew, has spoken about the danger the junction poses to motorists on previous occasions and lobbied former Suffolk Highways cabinet member Mary Evans for fresh measures.

"I am saddened to learn of yet another accident on this dangerous stretch of road," he said.

"Suffolk County Council have designed a scheme for speed reduction and this is an achievable solution if the town council find it acceptable.

"The road was cleared of vegetation after the accident in June and the visibility will be maintained in the future - but I think we need a more radical solution such as traffic lights or some other device."

MORE: Further hedge cutting takes place at key junction to reassure motorists

Sophie Underwood, an 18-year-old who lived in Foxhall Road, died in a collision at the junction in 2007 when the driver of the car she was in clipped a verge going around the corner with Bell Lane.

Her father, Alex Underwood, is keen to see positive changes to the area and says that a change in speed limit has been "a long time coming".

He said: "It's crazy to think that Woodbridge Road is a 30mph and Foxhall Road has a national speed limit.

"I'm all for it changing as my daughter lost her life on that road and there have been collisions there since I can remember."

The second stage of the consultation will take approximately three weeks and a final decision could be reached in three to four months time.

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