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Help for road blighted by rat-runners

PUBLISHED: 10:35 27 May 2008 | UPDATED: 20:29 05 July 2010

A ROAD blighted by rat-running motorists looking for another way into Lowestoft is set for major improvements to reduce traffic and speed.

The railway bridge at Prospect Road, Oulton Broad, is used by motorists to avoid a busier level crossing on Bridge Road where there are frequent delays and congestion.

A ROAD blighted by rat-running motorists looking for another way into Lowestoft is set for major improvements to reduce traffic and speed.

The railway bridge at Prospect Road, Oulton Broad, is used by motorists to avoid a busier level crossing on Bridge Road where there are frequent delays and congestion.

Suffolk County Council is set to provide £30,000 to look into the possibility of traffic-calming measures in the area because the Prospect Road crossing is reached via Hall Road and Borrow Road, which are residential areas.

The Oulton Broad proposal is considered to be one of four priority schemes and Guy McGregor, the councillor responsible for roads and transport, has recommended the project for funding. My understanding is that activity at the bridge has been described as rat-running, with cars whizzing through to avoid the level crossing, and we are very concerned about that,” he said. “I examined the site with an engineer about six weeks ago and as a result we think this is a justified concern.”

Mr McGregor said the details of what measures would be put in place would be open for public discussion and he expected work to be carried out during the current financial year.

“We will consult locally, get a general agreement and then we can crack on with the work. The funding is available and, as far as I am concerned, we can quite legitimately use it to sort this out,” he added.

Waveney MP Bob Blizzard, who has been calling for the improvements for two years, said he was pleased the council had tackled the issue, but stressed that traffic problems in Lowestoft would continue until a third bridge over Lake Lothing was built. “This is good news. The traffic-calming measures are welcome and hopefully go some way to preventing excess speeding,” said Mr Blizzard.

“But people will still use the bridge for rat-running as Lowestoft comes to a halt with the railway crossing and the bridge issues. The underlying reason is the basic road infrastructure and that will only be solved with a third river crossing.”

The funding for traffic-calming in Oulton Broad will be discussed at a meeting of the county council's cabinet tomorrow.

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