Stradishall and Wickham Street align in to lower road speed

Tony Gearing is starting a petition to get the speed limit reduced on the A143 between Highpoint and Wickhambrook from 60 to 40mph.
Tony Gearing is starting a petition to get the speed limit reduced on the A143 between Highpoint and Wickhambrook from 60 to 40mph.

Two neighbouring villages have aligned in their campaign for the speed limit to be lowered on the A143.

Villagers in Stradishall are aiming to have a 40 miles per hour limit on the road between Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds between HMP Highpoint and Wickhambrook, while residents of Wickham Street want Suffolk County Council to reduce the 40 zone through their village to a 30.

Now to two have formed an alliance to lobby the council, Matthew Hancock MP and Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore to change the speed limit.

Both have been using radar equipment to record the amount and the speed of traffic passing through.

Tony Gearing, who lives along the A143 in Stradishall and has a garden across the road from his house, said: “Nearly 90 per cent of traffic goes through the Wickhambrook to Clare crossroads at over 40mph. We believe that is too fast for a busy crossroads, particularly given that about 1,000 of the 5,000 vehicles each day are lorries and vans.

“We risk our lives every time we cross the road.

“Because cars are allowed to pass our house at 60, the national speed limit, they do not think they have to consider pedestrians at all.

“Often when we are crossing from our home to our garden with our toddlers, we have to pick them up and run because it is clear the vehicles are not going to slow down – despite seeing us.

“If there was even a 50 limit on this stretch it would at least stop many drivers thinking ‘we own this road’.
“We want them to recognise they share this busy road with several homes and businesses and give us rightful consideration.

“It doesn’t matter that there are not a lot of homes beside the road – lives are still at stake.”

Wickham Street has a 40 limit through the village, which is broken by 54 per cent of drivers – about 2,500 cars every day.

Resident Sam Sykes has trouble exiting from his home one to the A143.

“Even though we are 300 yards from the national speed limit sign, drivers start to accelerate while they are still in the built-up area,” he said.

“More than once we have had to make an emergency stop because an overtaking car or bike doing 70 to 100 mph is coming straight at us on the wrong side of the road.

“If Stradishall had a speed limit up to the start of our speed limit, fewer motorists would be tempted to drive like idiots through our village.”

Wickham Street wants its 40 mph speed limit cut to 30 mph to match the speed limit in Chedburgh.

“We too have properties that front on to the main road. We also have a dangerous crossroads.

“There is no logic as to why Chedburgh has a lower speed limit.”

Suffolk County Council has a moratorium on accepting applications for speed limits from parish councils except in special circumstances.

The two villages believe their radar research proves it has special circumstances.

To sign the petition, visit

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (February 14) Echo.