The Sproughton Transport Panel was set up in March 2004 as a panel of Sproughton Parish Council. Membership is open to all residents and those connected with Sproughton. The Transport Panel is tasked with actions by the Parish Council and reports back to the Council but it also develops its own plans. The current Transport Panel Chairman is Vic Durrant: (01473) 232799. Suffolk County Councillors and Babergh District Councillors have attended our meetings.
An objective of Sproughton Parish Council is to reduce the volume and average speed of vehicles passing along High Street, Lower Street and Burstall Lane. This objective was endorsed by Suffolk County Council's traffic engineers and by the police, at the joint meeting with Sproughton Transport Panel on 20th February 2006. More generally, we look at transport issues throughout the parish.
The Transport Panel was established to find ways of solving problems due to the unusually high levels of traffic volume, traffic pollution and HGV weight-restriction violations in our
village. Whereas the Suffolk county average increase in traffic on its B roads, between 1996 and 2003, was just under 11%, the increase in traffic on the B1113 through Sproughton in the same seven-year period was 27%. Source: Suffolk Traffic Monitoring Report for 2003, Suffolk County Council.
The Transport Panel worked in 2004 and 2005 with Suffolk County Council to 'solve' the HGV weight-restriction problems in our village. HGV violations occurred at the rate of about ten per hour. In the Spring of 2006, revised arrangements for HGV Orders in our area came into force. A year later, results show that the average number of violations per hour during a working day has dropped from about 10 per hour to 1 per hour. Many thanks to SCC's Trading Standards Officer for his continued help!
Gerry Barnes (former PC Chairman) and the Transport Panel have sought
solutions to the A14 noise problems. Our second meeting with the Transport Minister in London was on 2/2/06 and a new meeting with a new Minister took place on 13/11/07. Remedial measures (longitudinal grooving) to reduce A14 noise were carried out on the Whitehouse-to-Copdock section in the spring of 2010.
The Transport Panel is investigating various ways of significantly reducing the volume and speed of vehicles passing through the village. The Panel has studied the possibility of introducing Home Zones, or Shared Spaces, for areas such as Lower Street. This, however, is expensive and is only really effective for areas with high densities of pedestrians. Now that the new Community Shop is trading on Lower Street, there is renewed interest in a Shared Space scheme.
The Panel continues to study all new Planning Applications in our area, in cases where the proposed development is likely to cause significant increases to the traffic flow through Sproughton. For example, we have taken measurements and given evidence at the SnOasis (Great Blakenham) Public Inquiry and at the Inquiry into use of the former Sugar Beet factory site in Sproughton.
In the spring of 2007 there were four major Planning Applications under consideration for the western fringes of Ipswich. In total, these four developments propose to build 2,202 new dwellings within 5 km of the Sproughton Wild Man. Experience suggests that, if allowed to go ahead, these dwellings would cause a significant increase in the volume of traffic passing through Sproughton.
It is for reasons such as the above that the Transport Panel has been taking a longer-term look at possible routes for future relief roads in the south-western fringes of Ipswich. We have two suggestions:
To see the map of the relief route click Relief Traffic Routes (opens in a new window)
For commercial and HGV traffic accessing the trunk road system, both the above relief routes offer savings in journey-length as well as time. Those who know about such things can no doubt calculate the resulting cost-savings per annum.
To summarise some of the points of concern of our community:
The daily vehicle movements at the Wild Man junction in Sproughton (where High Street and Lower Street meet) is in excess of 10,000 per 24 hours. The noise and air-pollution are considerable.
We believe that the inadequacy of the A12/A14 Copdock Interchange causes much non-local traffic to rat-run through Sproughton. In November/December 2006, we observed that, during the morning peak period, over 20% of north-bound A12 traffic (representing about 560 vehicles/hour) diverts from the A12 at Capel St Mary and heads along minor roads into and around Ipswich, rather than face the congestion of the A12/A14 Copdock Interchange.