Village Traffic Survey

Langham Traffic Survey 2021 - First Draft Report & Action Plan

BACKGROUND 

Langham Parish Council (LPC) undertook this survey in November 2021 so that feedback could be obtained on traffic behaviour in the village. The idea was to collect opinions from residents so that consensus views could then be used to drive activities that may help to alleviate at least some of the most serious problems. The survey took the form of a questionnaire addressing areas such as speeding, parking and other erratic driving behaviour. It focussed primarily on the core of the village: other joint initiatives are also underway with adjoining Parishes to address “rat run” issues along the A12 corridor.

Surveys (one per household) were collected throughout the month of November. 88 were received in paper format and 32 were received online, making a total of 120 survey returns. Thank you to all those who have completed the survey. This has helped to provide a better snapshot of residents’ views and priorities which will now inform LPC’s efforts to push for improvements where required.

 

RESULTS

120 household responses (which included several business premises) were received: 88 by paper, and 32 online.

This is a return rate of around 30% of village homes + businesses. As you would expect the majority of respondents live on roads with the highest number of dwellings:

Wick Road (29); Moor Road (27); Park Lane (13); Chapel Road (13); School Road (12); Perry Lane (9); Dedham Road (5); Grove Hill (4); Langham Lane (3); High Street (2); Birchwood Road (2); Greyhound Hill (2).

When asked which specific roads suffered from speeding, Wick Road stood out and was a cause for concern for 62% of respondents. Park Lane, Moor Road and School Road followed, causing concern for 44%, 40% and 36% of respondents respectively.

When asked where the current speed limit was too high, the top response was Langham Lane NSL zone, mentioned by 28 respondents; followed by School Road, mentioned by 24 respondents. Park Lane 40mph zone and Wick Road came next with 23 respondents each. Whilst all these response rates are significant, it should be noted that in all cases this represents less than a quarter of the 120 survey respondents. Perhaps not too surprisingly, it is nonetheless noteworthy from the responses that residents are highly biased towards seeking a lower speed limit on the specific road that they live on!

In addition to the roads listed above, 5 respondents also identified the Park Lane (East) 30mph Zone speed limit as excessive, presumably due to the hedge encroachment and lack of footpath between the A12 and the Wick Road junction.

Respondents were asked to identify the predominant vehicle types and days/time periods of speeding incidents, but no clear patterns emerged from the responses here.

Respondents were asked whether slower traffic speeds would encourage them to walk/run/cycle more in the village. Nearly three quarters responded with a Yes or Maybe to this question.

Respondents were invited to comment on potential changes to speed limits on some specific roads within the village. Results are shown in the two charts below:

Respondents were invited to comment on a number of potential traffic calming measures, with some clear trends emerging. In decreasing order of popularity:

84% of respondents supported the use of Village Gateways.

78% of respondents supported the use of Portable Vehicle Activated Signs/Speed Indicator Devices.

61% of respondents supported the use of Rumble Strips.

55% of respondents supported the use of Road Surface Colouring to visually narrow the carriageway.

35% of respondents supported the use of Speed Bumps.

19% of respondents supported the introduction of one more Mini-Roundabouts.

Respondents were invited to identify suitable locations for all of the above measures, generating a range of replies, some very specific and some more general. These locations suggestions are considered in a later section of the report by visually mapping them.

Respondents were asked whether they believed there was a problem with dangerous driving in the village, with just under half saying Yes. Most comments received related to excessive speed. The most frequently mentioned roads were Wick Road (26); Park Lane (23); Moor Road (9); Birchwood Road (7); Langham Lane (6); School Road (5); Dedham Road (3).

Respondents were asked whether they experienced poor parking in the area of their homes, with a significant minority of 42% reporting yes. Poor parking was experienced both during the week and at weekends, with daytime parking being the primary concern.

Respondents were asked whether traffic noise in the village was a problem (beyond the unavoidable noise from the A12). 34% said yes. The majority of supporting comments related either to “boy racers”, or to large HGVs on Wick Road and School Road.

Analysis – Top Issues

  1. Overview
  • Speeding traffic is the biggest source of concern for villagers, significantly outstripping other forms of dangerous driving.
  • Parking is the source of significant concerns in a few “hotspots”. The majority of parking comments received related to the central section of School Road close to the Primary School and the Industrial Estate. A handful of comments were also made about Wick Road, Chapel Road and the short section of Moor Road between Park Lane and Chapel Road.

 

  1. Traffic Calming Measures
  • Very strong appetite for Village Gateways
  • Good appetite for VAS, Rumble Strips & Road Surface Colouring (see the three visual aerial maps at the end of this Analysis section)

 

  1. Speed Limits Review
  • Good appetite for Langham Lane, Birchwood Road and Dedham Road to become 40mph limits alongside Park Lane.
  • No good appetite for sub-30mph limits on Moor Road, School Road and Wick Road.
  • Several comments indicated support for a 20/15mph zone around the Primary School.
  1. Speed Limit Enforcement
  • No appetite for speed bumps, which is probably the only guaranteed way to slow down traffic, other than frequent use of speedwatch guns.
  • A few respondents suggested the re-introduction of a speedwatch group.
  1. School Road Congestion at School Times
  • This well-known problem elicited a large number of comments with a wide spectrum of views about whether and how it could best be addressed.
  • The impending large new housing developments will only exacerbate current problems, so this isn’t a problem that will go away and could get worse unless a solution can be identified and implemented.
  1. Wick Road/Park Lane Junction
  • Among the many concerns expressed by Wick Road residents, this is probably the most specific and dangerous.
  • A few respondents proposed a mini-roundabout at this junction.
  • Perhaps a good “middle-way” solution might be the erection of some good convex mirrors opposite the junction, as also proposed by some respondents?
  1. A12 Jams/Closures/HGVs
  • This issue seems to weigh particularly heavily in the minds of many residents on Wick Road/Park Lane/Birchwood Road.
  • Not sure how often it occurs and how big the impact is, but it clearly has the potential to put a lot of extra traffic loads on these roads, as well as Grove Hill/Nightingale Hill/Rectory Road if the A12 is closed heading north towards Ipswich).
  • Hard to see what can be done about “turnaround” traffic using Park Lane/Wick Road/Birchwood Road though!
  1. Footway (Pavement) Gaps
  • A number of pavement “omissions” were highlighted in comments: all of Moor Road; east end of School Road; east end of Park Lane
  • Harder to make the same case in Moor Road, given the wide verges on this road.
  1. Verge Damage & Poor Hedgerow Maintenance
  • Quite a large number of respondents have commented critically on these issues.

Traffic Survey Initial Action Plan

Main areas of focus following the Traffic Survey:

Priority 1 Items

Priority 2 items

These projects are categorised as priority 2 as they were not supported by as many residents in the survey or they are likely to be more complex in terms of delivering a satisfactory solution. Information has also been collected to enable LPC to formulate views on some issues where LPC has no official powers but follow up can be considered. Parking matters fall into this category.

LANGHAM PARISH COUNCIL FEBRUARY 2022