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Town to get 20mph zone five years after first being mooted

PUBLISHED: 15:52 08 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:52 08 January 2019

Speeds could be limited to 20mph in Eye. Picture: Antony Kelly

Speeds could be limited to 20mph in Eye. Picture: Antony Kelly

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2009

Plans to introduce a 20mph zone in Eye could finally become a reality more than five years since campaigners first launched a bid to slow traffic in the town.

A 20mph zone could finally be introduced in Eye town centre. Picture: Andrew MutimerA 20mph zone could finally be introduced in Eye town centre. Picture: Andrew Mutimer

Work on the speed reduction scheme now looks set to go ahead later this year following lengthy delays to the project and changes required due to a safety audit.

A 20s Plenty for Eye campaign group launched its fight for a 20mph limit in the town back in 2013 with a petition gaining more than 1,200 signatures.

Suffolk County Council in 2014 approved a bid by the Eye Speedwatch group, which had initiated the campaign, to install 20mph signs in streets around the town centre, including Castleton Way and Victoria Hill.

A 20mph zone could finally be introduced in Eye town centre. Picture: PAA 20mph zone could finally be introduced in Eye town centre. Picture: PA

The 20mph zone would be marked with coloured road surface and entered from Lambseth Street, Hoxne Road, Church Road and Welling Street and Magdalen Street.

However despite widespread support for a speed limit reduction the implementation of a traffic regulation order has since been delayed.

County councillor Guy McGregor said he is now confident that work will start later in 2019 along with changes to parking regulation enforcement.

County councillor Guy McGregor said 20mph speed limits could finally be introduced in Eye. Picture: Suffolk County CouncilCounty councillor Guy McGregor said 20mph speed limits could finally be introduced in Eye. Picture: Suffolk County Council

He said: “This issue has had a long gestation period but we finally think we have overcome the final hurdle which was a safety audit. There were some modifications that had to get approved as the audit results caused the road engineers to modify the plans. These have now passed the road safety test.

“The work is likely to be this year because parking regulations are also being transferred from the police to the district council, so all the traffic regulation orders are being checked by the county council as we speak to make sure they are compliant.”

Mr McGregor said a working party involving the town and district councils was being set up to oversee the changes and look at other ideas, including a possible one-way system.

A 20mph zone could finally be introduced in Eye town centre. Picture: Andrew MutimerA 20mph zone could finally be introduced in Eye town centre. Picture: Andrew Mutimer

He said: “There are issues around access and damage to properties and it may be time to give some consideration to whether a one-way system may be more appropriate.”

Eye mayor Jane Hudson said: “It is our understanding that the 20mph speed limit scheme is finally going to progress this year.

“There are lot of people that are very fed up with the amount of time it has taken but the majority are looking forward to it finally being introduced. It is needed just as much now as it was back in 2013.”

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