Westley Road plans are ‘an accident waiting to happen’ - councillor
Plans for parking restrictions in a Bury St Edmunds road could be an ‘accident waiting to happen’ according to a councillor.
A section of Westley Road is to have single yellow lines installed, following the removal earlier this year of temporary restrictions imposed during the Westley bridge closure.
Since they were removed many cars – most believed to be owned by students and staff from West Suffolk College – have been parking along the road during the day.
However, simply imposing parking restrictions is not the answer, according to some residents and Suffolk County and St Edmundsbury Borough councillor David Nettleton.
Resident Robert Taylor said the parked cars served as a traffic calming measure, therefore installing single yellow lines could lead to cars driving down the road at faster speeds.
“From my family’s point of view, every time we pull out of our drive we take a risk of collision by cars travelling, often at speed, around the blind bend outside our home. How can this be deemed safe?” he said.
“My primary concern is the safety of my family and, bluntly put, by having parking restrictions in place means a more unsafe situation for us.”
Following a residents’ consultation, Suffolk County Council decided to impose a single yellow line parking restriction on the north side of Westley Road from numbers 14-64, and on the opposite side up to number 61a.
Cllr Nettleton feels this is not the answer and that the council did not consult enough residents. When he surveyed more residents in Westley Road, Highbury Crescent and Westbury Avenue, 80 per cent did not want the proposed restrictions, but alternative measures.
Cllr Nettleton said he had suggested potential solutions to the council – including H-bars across driveways and double yellow lines – but it opted to push ahead with its original proposal
“One resident feels the single yellow line would lead to increased traffic speeds and he doesn’t want cars going fast around that bend. It is an accident waiting to happen,” said Cllr Nettleton. “I don’t know what the solution is, but I don’t feel this plan is the answer. I urge the council to think again.”
Cllr James Finch, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said an objector’s proposal and a recommendation by the Rights of Way committee had been considered, but it was decided to implement officers’ recommendations.
“Once these restrictions are implemented, the situation shall be monitored so as to determine whether any supplementary restrictions are necessary for the safe passage of traffic,” he added.