December 7 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 10, 2013
The county’s highways chiefs faced a barrage of questions from councillors who are concerned for people living in one of Suffolk’s most polluted streets.
County council roads boss Graham Newman and transport policy specialist Suzanne Buck were in Sudbury this week to answer questions about the town’s ongoing traffic problems.
At a recent transport forum held at the town hall, it was decided that £460,000 allocated to Sudbury as part of a local transport plan should go towards improving the area around Belle Vue junction and Great Eastern Road. But some town council members criticised the county for failing to address the issue of air quality in Cross Street, which has unsafe levels of nitrogen dioxide caused by the volume of heavy traffic using the narrow road. Cross Street has high terraced buildings on both sides, which creates a “canyon” effect, preventing polluted air from dispersing.
More than a year ago, the county pledged to work with Babergh District Council to find a solution, including removing parking bays to prevent a traffic build up. But councillor Nigel Bennett said despite the promises, nothing had happened to improve the situation for Cross Street residents.
He added: “If you really want to make a significant impact, you have to find a way of reducing the number of HGVs that are coming in from Essex and we need Essex County Council to be on board.”
His colleague Lesley Ford Platt said: “I feel very frustrated that we keep hearing that you (the county) can’t do anything about HGVs. Ultimately, a bypass is the only solution.”
But Mr Newman said a joint local enterprise partnership between Suffolk and Norfolk had just £26million to spend on highways for the next five years.
“It would take all of that money just to build a bypass in Sudbury so you can see the financial constraints we are facing,” he added. He suggested people in Sudbury could follow the lead of campaigners in Clare who set up a lorry action group to encourage hauliers not to send HGVs through towns with narrow streets and heritage buildings.