DRIVERS travelling down a stretch of road connecting two villages will now have to put the brakes on after the speed limit was finally changed.

Back in 2014, campaigners living in Great Holland suggested it was only a matter of time before someone was killed unless the speed limit was slashed.

The B1032, the main road which is often used by people driving between Clacton to Frinton, carries a 30mph speed limit.

This changes to 40mph, however, when drivers reach a stretch of road which runs into Kirby Cross - a speed transition which has concerned residents for years.

Six years ago, for example, Linda O’Reilly, of Westbury Road, Great Holland, called for a reduction in the speed limit, as well as road markings warning against overtaking.

At the time, she, along with many vocal and impassioned supporters, believed giving vehicles the permission to suddenly speed-up was a recipe for disaster.

“The 40mph section has become particularly dangerous," she said at the time.

"Motorists often drive along there at speeds which appear to be well above 40mph.

"People also overtake along there near the blind bends at great speed. It is madness and incredibly reckless."

Despite being initially recommended to not progress with the proposed changes, before rejecting them all together, Essex Council has now agreed to reduce the faster section of the B1032.

This means drivers will now no longer legally be allowed to travel along the 890 metre stretch of road - which previously carried the 40mph limit - at more than 30mph.

"A decision has been made to implement the 30mph speed limit on the length of the current 40mph limit between Kirby Cross and Great Holland," a spokesman said.

The U-turn comes after councillor Mark Platt, representative for Frinton and Walton, submitted a fresh report to the authority once again asking them to consider the request.

He also subsequently held a crunch-talks meeting with Kevin Bentley, the cabinet member for highways, during which he presented him with a petition from local residents.

He said: "First and foremost I would like to express my thanks to the residents of Great Holland for their support, encouragement and patience throughout this arduous process.

"Our request for a reduction in the speed limit was rejected at County Hall due to the proposal going against policy, which was a real frustration after nearly a year of work on this project.

"But, after collecting further evidence and a petition from local residents, we were able to achieve a positive outcome to all our efforts.

"Once implemented the reduction should have a significant positive impact on all those who live on or near to Kirby Road, and it is a step closer to a return to a calmer village life environment."