Residents demand action over Long Stratton ‘rat run’ road safety issues

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 ENGANL00120121212160354

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 ENGANL00120121212160354

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Residents have demanded authorities take action to deal with safety issues plaguing a Long Stratton road, amid growing concerns an accident is waiting to happen.

A group living in St Michael’s Road, a 20 mph lane with an access-only restriction, sent a letter to South Norfolk Council, Norfolk Constabulary and the office of South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon at the end of last week, claiming the street was increasingly becoming a ‘rat run’ for speeding traffic trying to avoid the busy A140.

Steve Lansdell, a resident who has called for improvements for several years, said people felt very little had been done since they met councillors and police nine months ago to air their grievances.

Mr Lansdell, a paramedic, wrote: “The residents of St Michael’s Road asked last October with a big voice for help. Well, no one is listening.

“Please open your ears before someone is hurt. We worry for the safety of our young and old alike!”

The issue of vehicles using the street as a shortcut is thought to be due to long delays on the village’s main road, especially during rush hour.

It is hoped this will be alleviated by the proposed Long Stratton bypass, part of South Norfolk Council’s development plan along with at least 1,800 new homes, which could begin construction in 2017.

However, residents of St Michael’s Road have expressed scepticism about seeing the bypass “any time soon”, and argued that construction traffic for the new housing could increase congestion and make their safety concerns even worse.

Diane Meade, who lives on St Michael’s Road, said she wanted to see deterrents and more active policing on their street, referring to multiple instances in the past few years where her garden had been “demolished” by speeding motorists who lost control.

She told the Diss Express: “There is no way most cars are doing 20 miles per hour. We would like something done.

“Anything would be a help. We reckon the last couple of months, it has gotten worse.

“My fear is we have got a lot of people on mobility buggies. We get children up here on bikes. I’m sitting there waiting to hear a crash because that’s the speed cars are going.”

Norfolk Police previously stated they had taken enforcement measures and sought co-operation from Long Stratton employers, but they believed only altering the road architecture, like adding a barrier, could provide a long-term fix.