Suffolk County Council rejects call for 20mph zone outside school in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich

A 20 mph zone is going to be created outside St Helens Primary School on Woodbridge Road.

A 20 mph zone is going to be created outside St Helens Primary School on Woodbridge Road. - Credit: Archant

Highways bosses at Suffolk County Council have said that a section of Woodbridge Road outside St Helen’s Primary School in Ipswich is not eligible for a 20mph zone – despite a petition with more than 1,000 signatures backing the plan.

In July last year, parents gathered more than 1,000 signatures and presented a petition to Labour councillor John Cook, after concerns about the safety of pupils around the school’s gate on the busy Woodbridge Road.

Parents at the time reported that cars were often travelling too quickly along Woodbridge Road and would sometimes speed through the traffic lights as they were changing colour.

Now, following an assessment by highways teams, the campaigners have been told it is not eligible – but parents are still urging more to be done.

Mandy Gaylard, Suffolk county councillor for St Helen’s said she had met with parents spearheading the campaign, and would continue to push for more to be done.

“It’s disappointing but we cannot let that be the end of the story because it is still a problem,” she said.

“We need drivers to be more aware that there is a school there and speeding is putting lives in danger, and drivers need to make sure they don’t jump the lights because this is a real concern.”

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The road already has ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ signs, but these are not legally enforceable, but Mrs Gaylard said they would strive for other measures such as speed bumps or greater police presence to curb speeding motorists.

St Helen’s Primary School headteacher Clare Flintoff said: “For many years the school has been campaigning for traffic calming and recognise the difficulties of being on the main trunk route into Ipswich.

“The reduction in the speed limit to 20mph is something we would very much welcome.”

In order for a 20mph limit to be introduced, highways teams have to consider a number of factors such as existing speed limits, average speeds, previous number of accidents and whether it is a residential area.

A county council spokesman added: “Suffolk County Council welcomes representation and petitioning is one way people can take part in the democratic process.”

Ipswich borough councillors will discuss the matter at tomorrow’s central area committee meeting.