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'We can't just wait for someone else to be killed' - safety group's campaign to reduce speed limit in town

PUBLISHED: 16:06 05 September 2019 | UPDATED: 16:25 05 September 2019

30 limit with blue sky and clouds

30 limit with blue sky and clouds

John Armstrong-Millar

A campaign has been launched for a 30mph blanket speed limit in a town, following the death of a pedestrian.

The junction of Mundford Road and Croxton Road in Thetford where Cliffy James was killed. Photo: Emily ThomsonThe junction of Mundford Road and Croxton Road in Thetford where Cliffy James was killed. Photo: Emily Thomson

The Safer Thetford Action Group (Stag), which has launched the campaign '30 For Thetford', wants to see a maximum 30mph speed limit across the town.

This comes after the death of Thetford resident, Cliffy James, who was struck and killed by a VW camper van on August 22, at the junction of Mundford Road and Croxton Road, a notorious crossing in the town where the speed limit is 40mph.

The group said this issue has been repeatedly raised in the past, and this time it "will not wait for another accident" to see change happen.Mac Macdonald, chairman of Stag, sent a letter to Highways England just before Mr James' death, expressing concern about the safety of pedestrians on the town's roads.

He said: "Statistically you are less likely to die if you are hit at 30mph. If someone steps out in the road and the driver doesn't have to time to stop or react and doesn't see them, the difference of 10mph may save their life.

"It won't solve the problem but it will definitely make a difference, not only for pedestrians but for other road users in the town."

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Stag contacted Norfolk County Council and Highways England, who sent officers to inspect the roads, but they say nothing can be done.

A letter sent by the county council said: "When imposing speed limits there are several factors that must be taken into consideration, such as road type, layout, class, traffic flows, street scene and the expected usage.

"Unfortunately, a minority of drivers do exceed speed limits. Reducing a speed limit as a measure to reduce vehicle speeds of this minority will normally be unsuccessful.

"An assessment of the accident record on the 40mph roads in Thetford has been carried out. There is nothing to suggest there is an inherent safety problem on any of them. The 40mph limits are appropriate to the road conditions."

But Mr Macdonald disputes this, warning that more fatal crashes will happen if the 40mph speed limit remains.

He added: "The more fatalities that happen, the more chance that there will be something done about the problem.

"One way or another we need to keep on it, morally we can't just stop and wait for someone else to die to raise this issue again."

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