In response to difficulties maintaining social distancing measures along Bildeston High Street, the Parish Council has submitted a new proposal for temporary traffic and parking restrictions.
The village’s current road layout provides insufficient space to maintain social distancing for pedestrians, specifically outside Bildeston Village Stores & Post Office where customers queue outside on the pavement, which leaves no room for passing pedestrians.
Currently, pedestrians have to step into the road to pass people queuing outside the shop. Given the high volume of traffic and a large number of large, heavy lorries that drive close to the pavement on this narrow stretch of road, this raises significant safety concerns. This pavement is the only route to the primary school and Health Centre and will become busier as more children return to school.
Suffolk County Council will be creating temporary pavement widening barriers and other measures on the High Street in the next few days. We do not know if they will implement all the measures that the parish council have asked for. We have been told that the temporary 20mph limit is unlikely to be the full length of the High Street. The measures will be monitored and, in line with Government policy, if successful will be made permanent in order to make it easier for more people to walk and cycle within the village.
In response, the Parish Council proposes:
- temporary chicane in the road and bus stop bay to separate pedestrians and traffic outside Bildeston Village Stores & Post Office
- priority traffic flow measures to calm traffic approaching the chicane, including building out pavement at corner of Tower House.
- a 20 mph speed limit for the high Street, Newberry Road, Duke Street, Chapel Street and 150m of western end of Wattisham Road
- a 30 mph buffer zone
- kerb dropped to the East side of High Street to facilitate access across the side road leading to The Brooks, adjacent to The Old Post Office
- suspension of some parking spaces on part of Market Place to provide better access to cycle parking and enable social-distancing for users of the outside cafe.
Traffic signs to support social distancing will be installed to alert drivers to the new road layout for social distancing.