Sudbury: Town to push for diversions
09:00 29 November 2012
TACKLING traffic problems on one of Suffolk’s most polluted roads should be a priority for the county’s highways department, Sudbury town councillors believe.
The town’s highways and footpaths committee met this week to come up with a list of projects it would like to see financed with £460,000 government funding that has been allocated for road improvements in the town.
Among the short-term projects identified for attention were replacing worn-off road markings, introducing 20mph speed limits in trial areas and addressing pedestrian safety on the town’s narrow pavements.
But committee members agreed that curbing HGV use on Cross Street, which has led to dangerously high levels of pollution, should be top of the list.
Although the priorities are yet to be sanctioned by the council, committee member Nigel Bennett warned that they needed to present the county with “well thought out reasons” for each priority if they hoped to be taken seriously.
He said: “If we don’t, then we risk the council spending all of the money on expensive studies to see what is viable, and nothing will actually get done.”
The county council initially put forward suggestions for redeveloping the Market Hill area of the town with the allocated cash. But according to committee chairman, Tony Platt, there are a number of more pressing issues that need addressing first.
He said: “If we could push for changes to the A131 strategic lorry route which currently takes HGVs through the town centre and in from Essex via Cross street, then many of the other traffic problems we are experiencing would be solved. We also need to look at anything that could help make the town safer for pedestrians.”
Suffolk County Council is due to hold a consultation exercise at Sudbury Town Hall on February 28, designed to give interested parties a chance to influence key decisions that will affect the town for the next 20 years. It is part of the county’s Local Transport Plan, which identifies Sudbury as one of 11 key towns requiring transport improvements to support economic growth.
Guy McGregor, the county council’s cabinet member responsible for roads, planning and transport, said: “Whilst we’re particularly interested in improving sustainable transport, we have a very open mind about what can be done in Sudbury. I would therefore encourage anyone with a view to share it with us so that we can make the right decisions for the town.”
People can also express views from January 2013 via www.suffolk.gov.uk/your-council/decision-making/consultations