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A1141 speed limit changes proposed in Hadleigh and Semer following road safety concerns

Proposed speed limit reductions along a main road through Hadleigh and its surrounding villages are on the cards, amid long-standing safety concerns for both motorists and pedestrians.

Suffolk County Council has begun consulting on proposed changes to the speed limit at two separate stretches of the A1141, with people encouraged to give their views.

The first change, if implemented, would see a new limit of 30 miles per hour – reduced from 40mph – in Stone Street in Hadleigh, from the junction with the A1071 to the existing terminal sign north of the Stone Street farmhouse.

Stone Street in Hadleigh could get a new 30mph limit
Stone Street in Hadleigh could get a new 30mph limit

In addition, it is proposed that the connecting stretch of road from this sign up to the junction with the B1115, which encompasses Union Hill in Semer, would be cut from 60mph to 40mph.

The plans follow requests for a speed limit review by county councillors Mick Fraser and Robert Lindsay, who are jointly funding the consultation with Hadleigh Town Council and Kersey and Semer parish councils.

Cllr Lindsay, whose ward covers both Kersey and Semer, said he was regularly contacted about concerns relating to the safety of the A1141, stating it has been a common site for accidents and near-misses.

“It should never have been 60 miles per hour on that stretch,” he told SuffolkNews. “There’s no way anyone could drive safely on that road at 60. It’s very narrow and twisty.

“Even though it’s a national speed limit road, there’s quite a few people who live on that road, including a row of Victorian terraces.

“The problem is, because it’s the national speed limit, it encourages people to think they can drive that fast and be safe, but they can’t, which is why lots of drivers have come off the road and ended up in a ditch.

“For people joining at the junction from Kersey, because of the nature of the banks, there also isn’t that much visibility, so it’s hard to see any cars going more than 40mph in time.”

A previous informal consultation with stakeholders, which included input from parish councils in other nearby villages, indicated strong support for the changes.

Once the current public engagement period concludes next month, the responses will be considered by Suffolk Highways, before a final decision on implementation is made.

Cllr Lindsay added: “Given the strength of feeling locally, and the fact there have been these accidents on the road, there would need to be a lot of objections for these changes not to go ahead.

“There has already been consultation with the police, parish councils and district councillors for the area, and they have all given it the thumbs up.

“Not just that, but it also has the financial backing of Kersey and Semer parish councils, and from my locality budget. The county council is not paying for the consultation – we’re paying for it.”

All comments on the proposed changes must be submitted by April 12. To view the proposals, go online to bit.ly/4cuRvGH.