Lavenham, between Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury, hopes for green light to introduce 20mph speed zone in village
A council has renewed a decade-long call for a 20mph zone through a well-known village to improve safety.
Lavenham Parish Council has submitted plans to Suffolk County Council to implement a 20mph speed limit zone throughout the village – mostly its centre.
Irene Mitchell, chairman of the council, said the scheme has been pursued due to a high volume of traffic passing through the village, to provide safety for residents and protect cars which are parked on the street.
The zone would cover streets starting from the south of the village, including Church Street and Bears Lane.
It will stretch towards the centre, and will include streets off the High Street, such as Market Lane, Spring Street and Hall Road.
The speed limit will continue towards the northern area, but will cut off before the entry to the village via Preston Road and Bury Road – popular entries for visitors travelling from the Bury St Edmunds area.
Irene said the scheme has received a majority backing from residents after over a decade of talks.
She said: “Lavenham is a very popular tourist destination, and the residents have told us in two questionnaires that they would like a 20mph speed limit in the village.
“So, the public is telling us that this is what they want, and as a council, we need to respond to that.”
The plans will also include an introduction of 40mph speed limit for part of Sudbury Road, which is currently a 60mph zone.
Irene hopes that the scheme will bring comfort to residents, especially during the night where cars are more likely to driver faster as the roads are less busy.
“If this goes ahead, I hope it adds certainty to those who try to cross the road,” said Irene.
“We have an A and B roads that go through the centre of our village, and both of those carry a quite significant volume of traffic.
“We also have a significant problem with parking in the village - there is a lot of on street parking.
“It will bring a higher degree of confidence to car owners who park on the street.
“If a car does get hit by a passing vehicle, the severity of damage will be smaller because the speed is reduced.
“Lavenham can also be quiet lively in the evening, so I think it would be safer for everyone if the speed was reduced to 20.”
The parish council first started considering the introduction of a 20mph speed zone around 2013/2014.
In 2020, it submitted plans to Suffolk County Council to implement the scheme.
However, the plans did not cover Bears Lane and Meadow Close – both in the south area – until a recent review, which now also includes the reduction to 40mph in Sudbury Road.
Irene added: “The idea of having a 20mph speed limit has been around for a long time.
“There’s been a number of local schemes in surrounding villages that have been planned for years and are now being implemented.”
Irene hopes the scheme can go-ahead towards the middle of next year.
Suffolk Highways has been approached for a comment.