Driving in the village

(This article has been renamed from ‘traffic calming’ to stop spamming by internet robots)

Natasha Dunlop is collecting thoughts and comments regarding

traffic safety on The Green, with a view to asking for a safety review by Norfolk Highways.  If you would like to contribute please comment on this page.

Natasha writes the following:

‘The Green is a long straight street in the village of Surlingham.  It has no pavements.  Over the years the volume of traffic has steadily increased, as has the number of pedestrians.  During the school run many families walk with their children to the village school.  As there are no pavements children are walking on the road and often children, especially the very young ones, move out towards the middle of the road.

Traffic can move fast along The Green because it is long and straight, and often exceeds the 30 MPH limit.  Although many cars slow down for pedestrians it is not consistently the case, particularly at rush hour which coincides with the time to walk to school. I believe that there is a high risk of an accident happening.

There is a blind turn leading from School Lane onto The Green.  I feel that this is a particularly high risk area for pedestrians.

I feel that a review of pedestrian safety on The Green is needed in order to ascertain the level of risk of pedestrian accident and to consider methods for reducing this risk.   It would be terrible if this review happened too late and in response to an accident, which is why we feel it is vital to highlight this risk now’

Report of Public Meeting held to discuss traffic calming (October 2012)

Concerns raised

Parking in the village, particularly around the school.
The safety of children getting into and out of cars at school drop off times.
Parking close to turnings partially blocking that turning.
Parking blocking the bus route.
Speeding within the village and on route from Bramerton.
Potential for pedestrian and traffic accidents at corners and junctions.
Existence of derestriced speed limits within village.
Boundaries of current speed limit, not covering outskirts of village.
Large vehicles travelling through the village and sometimes mounting the pavements.
Limited ice gritting of roads within the village.
Lack of safe designated walking areas for pedestrians.
Large number of potholes.

Discussion, ideas and potential solutions

The idea of alternative parking for parents and other parish hall users was suggested.  This idea was seen as positive by all villagers but it was agreed that the logistics of finding alternative parking was difficult.  Green’s Croft was mentioned as a possible area for additional parking but there was no firm agreement on this.

The idea of changing the bus route was briefly discussed.

Idea raised of doing a parking survey.

Idea of white lines down the middle of the road on bend of road between The Green and The Street and at Ferry Corner.

Idea, to request that potholes are filled
Idea, to request extra drainage.

Idea, to request additional ice gritting.

Idea, village sign “Please drive safely”

Idea, car drivers, parents and school children to share lifts where possible.

Idea, all school children to be supplied with fluorescent jackets.

Idea, letter to parents regarding parking around the school.

Idea, traffic safety training to be provided by the school to all children
Idea, bollards and double yellow lines at junctions near pond to prevent parking at these junctions.

Idea, alternative routes to school avoiding The Green or Walnut Hill.

There was brief discussion regarding a one way system around the village, this was raised as a possible way or reducing head on traffic collisions but there were concerns that a one way system may encourage some drivers to go faster.

There was discussion around the idea of limited and/or set school parking times.  Some villagers strongly supported this suggestion while others felt that it was important to allow parents time within school to drop off their children, talk to teachers and meet and chat with each other.

Idea, walk to school campaign.

Idea, chicane on The Green in order to slow traffic.  Briefly discussed, some villagers felt that this would not be feasible without street lighting.  Some villagers felt that they wished to avoid street furniture which they felt may spoil the rural look of the village.

Idea, white line to act as a virtual pavement.

Idea of community speed watch discussed by the police officers present – involves members of the public using police equipment to collect speeding data.  Police would send warning letters, but not fines, to speeders caught on camera.   Many thanks to the villager who put their name down for this, we currently have just one volunteer so further volunteers needed if the community speed watch is to go ahead.  Please contact the Parish Council or member of the village road safety committee if you would like to volunteer.

Idea, 20 mile an hour speed limit around school.

Idea, request/campaign for 20 mile an hour speed limit for whole village (strong village agreement).

Idea,  request/campaign for removal of derestricted speed limits within village (strong village agreement).

Idea, to extend village boundary covered by speed limits (strong village agreement).

Idea, a community campaign for villagers to drive at 20 miles an hour within the village.

Idea, school traffic safety/ speed reduction poster competition.

Idea, request police speed check.

Idea, to request range of feasible possible options for improving road safety from county council.

Idea, traffic survey road wires (wires placed on road to record traffic data).

Idea, villagers to be sent leaflets to engage further villagers in road safety debate.

Offer, from bus driver,  bus company may be able to provide pictures from bus camera to support road safety campaign.

Information supplied by Natasha Dunlop

14 Responses to Driving in the village

  1. Dave Swinborne says:

    Totally NOT in favour of a blanket 20mph limit throughout the village. The current limit is unenforceable so what makes anyone think a 20 mph would be any better. 20 mph is disproportionate for large parts of the village. I would accept that some form of restriction around the school area might be acceptable but from the experience of my 26 years in the village most of the problems are caused by parents, not visiting motorists. In fact many of the “near” misses are with people who live in the village and they know the dangers of the narrow roads and blind corners etc and it still makes no difference.
    So a 20 mph limit – a total waste of time!

  2. Pingback: Traffic calming – public meeting report | Surlingham

  3. Derry.Kelleher says:

    I agree that in the interest of pedestrian safety, some traffic calming measures are needed on the Green.

  4. M Foreman says:

    Children should be encouraged to walk and cycle to school. A ‘walking bus’ just inhibits the development of their awareness of the world around them and would be MORE catastrophic in the event of an accident. Who logically places large vehicle/plant businesses such significant distances from major trunk roads? Lack of strategic thinking like this increases traffic and creates situations where, for example, large trucks bearing diggers mount the pavement outside the school just as pupils are entering or being dropped off by parents. It was horrifying to watch this on more than one occasion last year and will inevitably lead to an accident one day.

    The speed limit should be 20mph and there should be restrictions on the size of vehicles allowed on key roads at certain times of the day to ensure safe transit for the children. Owners of locally run commercial vehicles might like to consider a voluntary code of practice in the absence of legislation.

  5. wheatfencottage says:

    I agree with what you’re saying, Natasha & Sue.

    I think a 20mile an hour speed limit would be a good thing and I would also like to see the addition of some mirrors at both ends of The Green to increase visibility when pulling out in the car, turning the corners, or crossing the road on foot. I wonder if it would be an idea to have a lollipop man or lady at the top of The Green during term time? I would be happy to volunteer to do this myself once a week on a rota with others if people thought it was a good idea.

    Rose Hoare

  6. Natasha Dunlop of behalf of Sue and Brian Mitchell – 2 The Green
    (Copied by Natasha from a letter from Sue and Brian, as they do not have internet access)

    With winter approaching we again have the worry of ice on the road from The Green into the street. Over the years on our corner we have many near misses with mainly local drivers approaching the corner. This has resulted in many cars hitting our hedge, a motor cycle halfway through our hedge, and one car knocking down 8ft of hedging and landing in our front garden. The hedge has been replanted and we hope it stays in place.
    Several years ago we managed to persuade the council to provide a grit bin, which my husband (aged 76) does his best to ensure grit is applied, and last winter we also received two road signs from the council, warning of slippery roads. We continue to be amazed at the ridiculous speeds, resulting in the above mentioned incidents, together with as many as 20-30 vehicles each year finishing in The Loke beside our house.
    All this is without mentioning the many village children going to the local school, Framingham Earl School children waiting for the school bus which stops outside our house and our own grandchildren who might be building a snowman or otherwise playing in our garden.
    We understand there is a move for speed reduction measures along the Green, and we would hope to see a better standard of driving in icy conditions, bearing in first and foremost the safety of school children walking to and from school.

    Sue also asked me to mention the idea of a having a walking bus to and from school, and is keen to hear people’s thoughts on this.

  7. Yvonne Johnston says:

    The subject is on the agenda for the next PC meeting – Tuesday 18th Sept., 7.30pm in the Parish Hall.

  8. Yvonne Johnston says:

    Hi, while I agree that some traffic calming measures are needed I must point out (as a parish councillor) that the Parish Council has no power to impose any type of speed restriction. I will however raise this at the next PC meeting and see if we can ask Norfolk County Council (which does have such power) to look into the situation.

    • John Stokoe says:

      Hi Yvonne
      I will be unable to attend the meeting next tuesday’s parish meeting. I have previous replied to the problems we have on the corner of the Green and the Street. Also other villages have mentioned that this is a very dangerous corner as vehicles drift across the centre of the road. White painted centre lines may help to give awareness of a shape bend.

    • For John Stokoe…[UNRELATED] I would like to contact Dave Kinney of Surlingham Carpet Bowls—either on email–or via snail-mail–as regards Kinney genealogy. But much depends on whether his Kinney line was local to Norfolk / East Anglia over some centuries or not….[If not, then it might be spurious]. PS: Although my surname is COLDHAM I do not have any know genetic links to the Surlingham line of Coldham–which I think became extinct a long while back. Rgds Gerard j Coldham, 110B Longstone Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN213SJ gjcoldham@yahoo.com

  9. Sandra Peacock says:

    We live at the end of the Green and we constantly hear cars screeching their brakes when they get to the corner. In the winter many a minor accident occurs on the corner into The Street because people are going too fast. We often see lorries coming down the Green too fast and turning right into the Covey without slowing down. It is only a matter of time before someone is knocked down or knocked of a bike on this road. The locally is attracting more walkers and cyclists especially at the weekends but it is also attracting more motorists to the riverside inns. Something needs to be done sooner rather than later before someone is seriously hurt or killed. I am in favour of having some kind of “chicane” perhaps a raised flower?

  10. Speeding is an issue on many of the roads in the village. Vehicles regularly exceed 30mph on Walnut Hill and even past the school. The Green, Common and The Street suffer equally and there are many near-misses on the numerous ‘blind’ bends on Ferry Road. I would like the Parish Council to consider imposing a 20mph limit on ALL roads in the village and a poster campaign ‘blitz’ to back it up.

  11. Vicki and Kevin says:

    We live along The Green and regularly hear speeding vehicles. We also noticed, during the recent drainage works, that cars were slowed appreciably by the ‘chicane’. Speed bumps?

  12. John Stokoe says:

    Yes Natasha I feel the same. The speed restrictions would also need to cover the the bottom of the Green which is a blind corner to the Street and the Covey. Many a times there has been accidents with weather conditions and near head on crashes.

Comments are closed.