September 22 2014 Latest news:
Monday, July 21, 2014
Calls for a much-needed bypass to solve Sudbury’s ongoing traffic woes have been renewed after Bury St Edmunds successfully secured Government funding towards a relief road.
Pressure is growing for a long term solution to congestion on Sudbury’s overcrowded one-way system caused by HGVs using the A131 through the town from Essex.
Luke Cresswell, chairman of the south Suffolk Labour party, is pushing for changes to the strategic lorry route and would like to see the lorry park moved out of the town centre. But many community leaders believe now is the time to resurrect the push for a long-awaited relief road for Sudbury.
A 2011 transport study carried out on behalf of the county and district councils stated that the western bypass was “necessary to relieve the air quality management area and congestion issues around Market Square”.
The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which is now the delivery platform for major projects, has also listed carrying out preparatory work on the Sudbury western by-pass as part of its draft economic plan for Suffolk and Norfolk.
But at a recent public meeting, Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for roads and transport, said while a bypass was the obvious long-term solution; it would cost around £70million so efforts should be concentrated on what could be done in the short term.
Simon Barrett, Babergh’s lead member for economic development, said the Government had just agreed to contribute £5.7 million to help build the £15 million eastern relief road in Bury St Edmunds, which will enable 68 hectares of land to be used to attract national companies to the town with the creation of up to 15,000 jobs. He believes Sudbury needs to make a case for similar support.
He said: “Although there are short term measures we could take to improve the traffic situation, ultimately we need to work with Essex County Council to get the Sudbury western bypass back on the agenda.
“There is no point in Sudbury having a bypass if Halstead doesn’t have one and that needs a coordinated approach across all of the LEPs and county councils.
“It’s a big project and we have to demonstrate that we have growth and that we need employment land opened up by a new bypass.”
James Cartlidge, the newly elected Conservative Party candidate for South Suffolk, said he wanted to ensure that the prospect of a Sudbury bypass was “firmly back on the political agenda”.
He said: “This has been a subject of talk and theory for far too long. At the moment, the bypass as a policy is basically dormant. Yet, as I know from my own experience using Sudbury for the family shop and other day to day tasks, the traffic problems of the town are not getting any better.
“The Government is not spinning when it talks about a long-term economic plan – the LEP is delivering serious investment into our region with money going to infrastructure projects in Bury St Edmunds and elsewhere that will deliver long term economic benefit.
“We now need to see that money funding infrastructure improvements in south Suffolk.”
County councillor John Sayers has been behind the push for a bypass for the past two decades. He has recently raised the issue at Suffolk County Council and has asked for an update on the feasibility and practicality of such a scheme.
He said: “I keep emphasising that it would help the air quality in Cross Street which has pollution levels that pose a health hazard. A bypass would be ideal as it would get all of the traffic out of that congested area.”