Village urges lower speed limits amid fears over traffic 'chaos'

The crossroads in Barnham Broom where residents are calling for speeding restrictions. Picture: DENI

The crossroads in Barnham Broom where residents are calling for speeding restrictions. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

A village has urged the highways department at Norfolk County Council to lower the speed limits on their roads, after a number of near-fatal accidents sparked fears among residents. 

Barnham Broom Parish Council made the decision to send a letter formally requesting lower limits after resident David Bell collected more than 200 signatures from local people concerned about vehicles using their village as a speedy rat-run. 

By October last year, Mr Bell had collected some 178 signatures and he went on to attract support from the headmistress of the local primary school, the parish minister the Right Reverend Dr Tim Weatherstone, and several local businesses, including the village’s hotel and golf club.

Mill Road at the crossroads in Barnham Broom where residents are calling for speeding restrictions.

Mill Road at the crossroads in Barnham Broom where residents are calling for speeding restrictions. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

In the letter, agreed at a meeting on Thursday evening, the parish council wrote: “The village has suffered numerous road collisions and near-misses, most recently on November 29, 2021, at Honingham Road, when a collision requiring the police, fire service and air ambulance resulted from a motorist losing control of their vehicle whilst driving within the current speed limit.

“When the inadequate infrastructure of public footpaths throughout the village, and a lack of street lighting, are added into the equation, the likelihood of more serious injuries or fatalities in the future becomes almost inevitable.” 

The letter proposes lowering the current 30mph limit to 20mph throughout the village, pointing out that many streets in nearby Norwich have had the latter limit applied to them. 

Bell Road at the crossroads in Barnham Broom where residents are calling for speeding restrictions.

Bell Road at the crossroads in Barnham Broom where residents are calling for speeding restrictions. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

It also warns that clearer sign-posting and road markings are needed, particularly in light of the proposed dualling of the A47 at Easton and works at Thickthorn roundabout

“If these measures are not addressed the result would be chaos for our village community, as once motorists get used to a route it becomes increasingly difficult to control it.”

Following the letter’s submission, Mr Bell said he was frustrated by how long it had taken to be agreed by the parish council, but was glad it had been sent. 

Resident David Bell, pictured with concerned parish councillor, Sara Harrold. Mr Bell has collected

Resident David Bell has collected hundreds of signatures from local residents calling for lower speed limits in Barnham Broom. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

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“Given the fact that there’s an overwhelming concern throughout the village… we really do need to have this resolved,” he said. 

“Norwich and various other places are already down to 20mph, and yet we are an isolated village that doesn’t have the infrastructure that Norwich has, meaning it's more dangerous.” 

David Jacklin, highways area manager at the county council, said his team would take "a close look at the details of the request".