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Killer road will not see sign moved despite seven cat deaths

PUBLISHED: 13:27 01 March 2018 | UPDATED: 13:28 01 March 2018

Ian and Jill Real from Marsh Lane, North Cove are angry that a 30mph speed sign has become obscured.
Picture: Nick Butcher

Ian and Jill Real from Marsh Lane, North Cove are angry that a 30mph speed sign has become obscured. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

Devastated residents are calling on Suffolk County Council to replace an obscured road sign they say has contributed to the death of seven cats in North Cove.

Ian and Jill Real from Marsh Lane, North Cove are angry that a 30mph speed sign has become obscured.
Picture: Nick Butcher Ian and Jill Real from Marsh Lane, North Cove are angry that a 30mph speed sign has become obscured. Picture: Nick Butcher

Marsh Lane residents say the sign is blocked by the hedge meaning drivers do not see it until the last second or not at all, leading to speeding vehicles on the road.

One resident has lost four cats in a year, with another losing three cats in four years.

Suffolk Highways said that the 30mph sign on Marsh Lane is marked for potential future work, but that other repairs and jobs are taking priority due to recent bad weather.

Jill Real, a Marsh Lane resident for more than 12 years, lost her fourth cat, Doris, last week after it was hit by a car and blames the sign for the accidents on the road.

Ian and Jill Real from Marsh Lane, North Cove are angry that a 30mph speed sign has become obscured.
Picture: Nick Butcher Ian and Jill Real from Marsh Lane, North Cove are angry that a 30mph speed sign has become obscured. Picture: Nick Butcher

She said: “I just think it is disgraceful. I think it is a hazard because you can’t see the sign until you have passed it.” Mrs Real reported the problems with the sign to Suffolk Highways last March and had been promised the sign would be moved by September 2017.

This was then changed by Suffolk Highways in October, stating that the sign was not a priority repair, and instead is marked for future work.

Mrs Real added: “It is so upsetting that we are actually considering moving because we are so heartbroken.”

Deborah Robinson, also of Marsh Lane, was hit with veterinary bills of more than £6,000 when her cat Bella needed two metal plates inserted after being left for dead on the road.

Ian and Jill Real have lost 3 cats on Marsh Lane, North Cove. They have had a sign made to try and protect cats in the area.
Picture: Nick Butcher Ian and Jill Real have lost 3 cats on Marsh Lane, North Cove. They have had a sign made to try and protect cats in the area. Picture: Nick Butcher

She said: “Drivers just go up and down here too quickly.

“It’s so bad that we have not let the cats outside since. We’ve built a enclosed area where they have ladders and all sorts but it’s just not safe to let them out.”

Another resident, Jonathon Dann, has lost three of his cats in the space of four years, taking the road’s tally up to seven.

Green councillor for Beccles, Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw, said: “I am appalled to hear that residents of Marsh Lane have had such a difficult time getting a solution to their concerns.

Ian and Jill Real from Marsh Lane, North Cove are angry that a 30mph speed sign has become obscured.
Picture: Nick Butcher Ian and Jill Real from Marsh Lane, North Cove are angry that a 30mph speed sign has become obscured. Picture: Nick Butcher

“I will be looking into this issue with urgency, and make a plea to other residents to contact me directly if they need assistance or support getting a resolution with a highways issue.”

A Suffolk Highways spokesman said: “We have reviewed the repeater sign against our published intervention criteria; due to the fact that the obstruction of this sign is not posing a threat to the safety of the road user, no immediate work to relocate the sign or cut the hedge back will take place.”

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