Potter’s Bridge, on the B1127 near Southwold, petition calling for action over flooding passes 3,000 signatures
Residents have celebrated the success of a petition which is calling for improvements to the management of a flood-hit road.
Potter’s Bridge, on the B1127 near Southwold, regularly floods and causes severe problems for residents, impeding their access in and out of the town, as well as to the nearby James Paget Hospital.
An online petition, started by Rebecca Clatworthy, urging Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Thérèse Coffey to take action, as well as paper petitions in the town and surrounding areas, have surpassed the 3,000 signature mark.
Dr Coffey has acknowledged the success and pertinence of the appeal and plans to meet Ms Clatworthy this week.
Ms Clatworthy said: “I would just like to thank every person who has taken the time to sign the petition, reinforcing this is an issue causing widespread concern that needs to be addressed.”
Her petition, accessible on change.org, calls on Dr Coffey to intervene and compel the Environment Agency (EA) and Suffolk County Council (SCC), to work together and devise a management plan for the waterway surrounding the road.
It said the situation at the road should be monitored, with early intervention before problems occur.
John Huggins is another Southwold resident, who is vocal about the Potter’s Bridge issue. He said: “How astonishing it is that this lowly populated area managed to top 3,000 signatures in just 12 days.
“It just shows the frustration of the people that use the road.”
When the B1127 is closed, some motorists are forced to divert via Wangford, a route which residents say is not suitable for the volume of traffic and raises safety concerns.
Last year, the Environment Agency was embroiled in a dispute with the landowners at Easton Broad. A warrant was eventually secured to allow the agency to access the land and dig an outfall when the broad breaches to relieve the road.
Dr Coffey said she met with Paul West, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for highways, and the EA recently to talk about Potter’s Bridge.
She said: “I was reassured that both bodies are working jointly on options to help alleviate flooding on this section of the B1127 by clearing and jetting highway drainage and cutting channels into the verge to help water drain away when there is heavy rain or a tidal surge.
“This builds on the Environment Agency’s ongoing efforts to keep the channel clear at the beach following my request that they use the powers available to them under the Water Resources Act.
“I know how important this road is and will keep pressing.”