New flashing speed limit signs for Norwich area

Communities in Greater Norwich will receive more flashing speed limit signs in a bid to improve road safety.

Thorpe St Andrew, Costessey, Salhouse and Spixworth are among the 22 places identified as suitable for the vehicle activated signs, which flash warning messages to drivers travelling too fast.

They were chosen from a list of 55 parishes that applied to Norfolk County Council, which announced yesterday that it had upped a �100,000 fund announced in August to �190,000.

It comes as the rolling 12-month total for the number of people killed or seriously injured on Norfolk's roads fell to 323 - the lowest ever recorded and counter to the national picture which has seen an increase in the number of road casualties. Just five years ago the rolling 12-month total of people killed or seriously injured on our roads was more than 500.

The news has been welcomed across the region with speed a concern for many parishioners in towns and villages in the Norwich area.

Each vehicle activated sign costs about �7,000 and studies in Norfolk and elsewhere have shown them to reduce speeds, particularly among faster drivers who contribute most to the accident risk.

Malcolm Prestwood, Salhouse speedwatch co-ordinator, said: 'We have been campaigning for this for several years, so it's welcome news. Speed is a problem in the village particularly in Bell Lane and Norwich road.'

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Steven Ford, Thorpe St Andrew Town Council clerk, said they had applied for two of the signs several years ago, but had only been successful in getting one.

He said: 'Hopefully, this will make up for that. We have particular problems with speeding in St Williams Way.'

Meanwhile, Spixworth Parish Council chairman Ian Fitt said that speed was also a concern in their village.

He added: 'Speed is a concern for parishioners in Spixworth, so any measure that helps to reduce speed is most welcome.'

However, Hilary Elias, Costessey Parish Council clerk, said the news only went some way towards solving the problem.

She said: 'The parish was disappointed when Norfolk County Council withdrew the approved traffic control scheme in West End in Costessey.

'This is a small step which will go towards mitigating the traffic problems here, but is not the total solution. County councillor Tim East has campaigned to get this in Costessey.'

Overall, 22 places in Norfolk will be receiving fixed vehicle activated signs including Bradwell, Stalham, Bunwell, Coltishall, Scottow, Thurton, Stoke Holy Cross, Martham, Wymondham, Barford, and Saxlingham.

Scottow Parish Council clerk Rog Cannon said: 'It's fantastic news. We recently had an accident where the air ambulance was called, and the speed of vehicles on the B1150 through the village - especially motorbikes in the summer - can be intimidating. Anything that slows drivers down will be well worth having.'

Graham Plant, cabinet member for planning and transportation, said that as well as paying for the 22 fixed signs, the increased funding would allow it to provide eight mobile speed activated message signs for the next two years.

He said: 'This is twice as many as we have at the moment, so we will be able to help more communities that do not have a permanent sign.'

Alec Byrne, chairman of the joint county council and police authority casualty reduction group, also welcomed the news. He said: 'I am very pleased the county council has been able to fund more fixed and mobile vehicle activated signs. Not only are they cost-effective, they also help strengthen the important partnership with local communities, encouraging those that have been active in road safety.'

Each vehicle activated sign costs about �7,000 and studies in Norfolk and elsewhere have shown them to reduce speeds, particularly among faster drivers who contribute most to the accident risk.

Do you have a particular problem with speeding where you live? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email