Villagers hope shared signs will cut speeds

West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock and county councillor Mary Evans unveil the flashing speed sign at Little Thurlow

West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock and county councillor Mary Evans unveil the flashing speed sign at Little Thurlow

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Villagers plagued by drivers speeding are hoping a newly unveiled flashing speed signs they are sharing will reduce the problem.

West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock joined Suffolk County Councillor Mary Evans, who got funding for four signs, to unveil one at Little Thurlow.

The vehicle activated signs show whatever speed the vehicle is doing and flash if it is over 30mph.

Mr Hancock said: “Speeding in villages has long been a serious concern. The new speed signs are working effectively to reduce speeds in villages.”

Cllr Evans said just after she was elected in 2013 she and Mr Hancock had attended a public meeting on speeding which was well attended on an unpleasant night, making her realise how strongly people felt.

She funded two £3,000 signs with her locality budget but got funding for the other two through a Suffolk County Council scheme where if it could be shown communities were working together on a project it would get match funding from the county.

The four signs will be shared by 10 villages across West Suffolk at more than 20 locations and Cllr Evans said sharing the signs may improve their effectiveness.

She added: “In some villages where they’re got them on constantly, they become like wallpaper and motorists don’t notice them.

“A lot of people using rural roads are rural people who don’t like people speeding through their own villages, so they only need a reminder that they’re doing 35 instead of 30.”

The signs record how many vehicles have passed it and how many were speeding, though not their numbers, but Cllr Evans said that information will be given to the police to help them target action.

“They will be backed up by enforcement,” she warned.

Little Thurlow Parish Council chairman Chris Field said speeding had long been a problem in the villages along the B1061 and all the parish councils have campaigned on it.

Mr Field said: “We hope it will alert drivers to their speed. We’re well aware you get people who don’t mean to speed but get distracted.

“You can’t do anything about the people who deliberately do 60 through villages.”

Their sign is being shared with Great Thurlow, Great Bradley and Great Wratting.