Petition calls for action to tackle town rat-run

Just Regional
Oct 21, 2020 3 mins read

More than 100 people have signed a petition calling for action to stop an Aylsham street being used as a rat-run by speeding motorists.

The petition, started by Millgate resident Lynda Hartley, is proposing that access only restrictions are imposed from Millgate bridges to where Bure Way meets the Old Cromer Road.

Lynda, who has submitted the petition to highways officials, said: “The road is very narrow and there is a problem with people speeding. People are also walking and on their bikes so at some point there will be a fatality.

“There is supposed to be a 20mph limit. Traffic comes over the bridges where the road narrows sometimes, at quieter times, at a speed verging on double that which is stipulated.

“Vehicles using the road as a rat-run during the day are often from the industrial estate, which should really be using the bypass for which it was originally intended.

“The majority of people are saying it’s just getting ridiculous. It’s just laziness and a lack of courtesy for the residents.”

Lynda said residents had called for action before and that another option of speed bumps had previously been ruled out.

She added: “This is a narrow road at the best of times. It has no pavements and some houses open directly onto the street. There are very few driveways so vehicles are parked on the street, restricting the flow of traffic even more.”

Another problem, Lynda added, was the issue of lorry drivers ignoring the 7.5 tonne weight restriction for the street.

A spokesman for Broadland District Council confirmed it had received the petition and said: “Broadland District Council is working with local elected members, Aylsham Town Council and local businesses to consider the future of the current temporary traffic restrictions and will shortly be undertaking a review of the measures.

“We understand the current restrictions have a ‘spill over’ effect into other parts of the town, including Millgate and surrounding roads. These impacts will be considered when future arrangements are being explored and proposed.”

Patrick Prekopp, chairman of Cittaslow Aylsham, said: “I fully sympathise with the residents of Millgate, and would also like to see a resolution to this.

“However, traffic around Aylsham’s medieval street layout is like water: close one channel and it will find alternative routes. So making part of Millgate access only would drive traffic elsewhere possibly creating a problem where there wasn’t one before.”

He added: “The Cittaslow “Shaping the Future” consultation document was an attempt to think through these traffic issues among other things. This has now been put on hold while the Town Council waits to hear from Broadland District Council about what they intend to do in the light of the reaction to their government-inspired scheme which was, after all, devised to make our streets safer during the Covid crisis. “

Campaigner Lynda Hartley

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