Pleas for police presence at Long Stratton traffic ‘rat run’ re-emerge

Long Stratton, Norfolk. Steve Lansdell who's conceded about St Michael's Road which driving are flouting the access only restriction during peak times of traffic in Long Stratton ENGANL00120121012121205
Long Stratton, Norfolk. Steve Lansdell who's conceded about St Michael's Road which driving are flouting the access only restriction during peak times of traffic in Long Stratton ENGANL00120121012121205

Renewed calls for a police presence to help curtail issues at a Long Stratton traffic ‘rat run’ have been sounded this month — but Norfolk Constabulary says this would not be the ‘best use of resources’.

Villagers are again demanding action be taken to try and reduce the volume of traffic misusing St Michael’s Road, a street with a 20mph limit and an access restriction.

Local residents have claimed for several years that motorists have been ignoring both the speed and access limitations so they can cut out part of the nearby A140 route in peak times, which has led to safety worries for pedestrians, including youngsters walking to and from school.

Norfolk County Council’s Highways Department attempted to alleviate concerns earlier this year by painting in new white line markings, but Steve Lansdell, who lives on St Michael’s Road, argued the restrictions are “still being treated as a bit of a joke” and offending drivers have “no fear of being caught or challenged”.

Mr Lansdell, an emergency paramedic, told the Diss Express: “The safety of our children, our pets and our property is all at risk with an increased traffic flow through a road which isn’t designed to take this flow of traffic.

“We have to hope the police will make an odd appearance at peak times to break the habit of some of the motorists that race through our road and increasing the risk to all of us that live here.”

However, Norfolk Police stated that ‘access only’ areas like St Michael’s Road are “extremely difficult to police and very time consuming”, and it was more likely to be given “passing attention as and when officers are available”.

A Norfolk Constabulary spokesperson said: “In order to police an ‘access only’ road like this, officers are required at either end and within the road, every vehicle may need to be stopped and the driver’s destination confirmed.

“The number of officers required and the length of time in location would not be the best use of resources.”

They added that one idea, which they suggested for similar areas, was to ‘stop up’ one end of the road, giving access and egress in a single direction, but they said residents often object to this, as it means also imposing restrictions on their own movements.