Bury St Edmunds: Eastern Relief Road at Moreton Hall will have little impact on relieving congestion on A14, it is claimed

Councillor Trevor Beckwith

Councillor Trevor Beckwith - Credit: Archant

An £18million relief road will do little to ease congestion on Bury St Edmunds’ roads caused by the growth of the town, it has been claimed.

A planning application has now been submitted to St Edmundsbury Borough Council for the Eastern Relief Road (ERR) to connect the eastern side of the Moreton Hall estate with the A14 at junction 45 (the Rookery Crossroads).

The town is set to grow by about 6,000 homes over the next 20 years, including new housing developments at Moreton Hall (about 550 homes) and in the south-east of the town (about 1,250 homes).

A draft infrastructure delivery plan, to support the borough council’s blueprint for future growth, says the ERR is a “fundamental scheme” to ease traffic using junction 44 (Sainsbury’s) which is at capacity at peak times.

But councillor Trevor Beckwith (pictured), who represents Moreton Hall on the borough and county councils, said: “I think it’s necessary for the expansion of Suffolk Business Park [at Moreton Hall], but to put it down as a mitigating factor for the housing, I think that’s a red herring, I really do. As I keep saying to people if you want to go that way to Ipswich now, you can.”

Taylor Wimpey, which will fund the ERR, said the new road would benefit new and existing residents in the area by providing direct access to the A14 via an improved junction 45 and would be a more convenient alternative to junction 44.

But Mr Beckwith said all drivers from Moreton Hall had to do was go down Mount Road to access the Rookery Crossroads.

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Mike Bacon, chairman of the Moreton Hall Residents’ Association, also felt the new road would have little impact on relieving traffic congestion. “I’m not convinced that many people want to go out that way. It’s a road to service the business park. It’s obviously essential to the business park, but they are talking about funding it from the houses.”

The Taylor Wimpey spokesman said the ERR was “necessary” to serve existing and proposed development in the area of Moreton Hall.

Planning policy states the new road must be built before the housing on Taylor Wimpey’s 550-home development would be permitted.