Foxhall Road and Bell Lane speed limit changes to be in place by end of the month
- Credit: Google Maps
Long-running plans to introduce lower speed limits on an accident blackspot route near Ipswich have finally been agreed, and will be introduced before the end of the month.
The stretch of Foxhall Road between the A12 roundabout and the beginning of the 30mph section near Bell Lane will be reduced from the national speed limit down to 50mph.
The 30mph speed limit in Bell Lane, Kesgrave, will then be extended southwards for a further 70metres and a 50mph speed limit introduced between there and the junction with Foxhall Road.
Those changes will be effective from January 23, with five nights of roadworks taking place on those roads from Monday, January 18 between 7pm and 5am. The roads will be closed with diversions in place during that time.
Suffolk county councillor for Kesgrave, Robert Whiting, has spent years campaigning for the changes.
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"I am delighted to see that my campaign to review and revise the speed restrictions along these busy and important routes will now be implemented," he said.
"I hope that these changes will be the first of many very necessary improvements to these roads to assist the safety of all users and the quality of life for residents. However, with the development and growth taking place in this area, I hope that significant further improvements can occur in the future."
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The route is a key corridor connecting traffic between Ipswich town centre and the A12.
Changes are also being planned for the section of road outside the Foxhall Recycling Centre to provide a filter lane for traffic entering the site as part of already agreed safety measures with the centre's upgrade.
The portion of road has long been a problem area for accidents, and has claimed the lives of several motorists.
Dad-of-two Craig Bedford died in an accident there in June 2019, while Sophie Underwood lost her life at that spot at the age of 18 in 2007, prompting her father to campaign for safety improvements.
Mr Whiting said the work must only be the start of further improvements. Among the measures he said were needed were road widening of Foxhall Road, roundabout junctions at Bell Lane and Dobbs Lane, long term solution to road flooding, safe crossing points for cyclists and pedestrians and exits at the rear of the Grange Farm housing estate to connect to Foxhall Road.
He said the 2,000-home Brightwell Lakes development will put severe traffic pressure on the road, and added: "Whist this speed reduction project is welcomed, it really is only a small step in the right direction to secure the wellbeing of those who use these roads."
Suffolk Highways said work to erect speed limit signs and new road markings will take place during the night closures. A spokeswoman said: "This work is essential to ensure the enforceability of the revised speed restrictions at this location, as we continue to assist in making Suffolk's road network as safe as possible for all road users.
"We would like to thank road users for their patience while the closures are in place."