Bury St Edmunds Eastern Relief Road set to open on Monday
PUBLISHED: 15:23 21 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:23 21 September 2017
A long-awaited Bury St Edmunds relief road, which will "unlock land" to create thousands of jobs and attract millions of pounds of investment, is set to open next week.
The £15m Eastern Relief Road (ERR), from Skyliner Way on Moreton Hall to junction 45 of the A14, will link to a new Suffolk Business Park.
The park, which can now progress, will bring in an estimated 14,000 jobs and £275m of inward investment over the next 25 years. The road will also lead to a new 500-home development, provide better access to the newly opened Sybil Andrews Academy as well as easing local congestion.
The ERR, part of a joint project between St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Suffolk County Council and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, will open up to traffic on Monday afternoon.
The road, which was first announced seven years ago, has encountered delays throughout its construction, with land negotiations holding up the project before it even started.
This was followed by an alleged legal wrangle over “12 inches of land” at Sow Lane, which meant contractors were forced to down tools for several months. A Suffolk County Council spokesman said all matters in respect of the claim have been settled between the parties.
The leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council said the opening of the road realised an ambition of the authority.
Councillor John Griffiths said: “This is more than a road – it is an investment in the future prosperity of our area.
“This is another example of our innovative work to bring investment, infrastructure and manage growth to support the local economy, housing and education, bringing jobs and continued success.
“The Eastern Relief Road has long been an ambition of St Edmundsbury Borough Council and I am delighted that it will soon open up to traffic and look forward for when all the works are completed in the area.
“We invested £3m ourselves and worked hard to secure funding from the LEP and county council to bring this to fruition.
“When fully open and completed this will be a road leading to thousands of new jobs at the Suffolk Business Park which is already attracting existing successful companies who want to expand without having to relocate from the area.
“At the same time it will encourage new businesses into west Suffolk, and enhance the variety of employment on offer to help young people and graduates remain in the area. It will also help attract around £275m of inward investment over the next 25 years.
“This is a road to 500 new homes including much needed affordable housing, giving more people the chance to stay and work where they grew up.
“This is also a road that will serve our families and communities for years to come. The Sybil Andrews Academy is already open but the road will provide better access, not just to the school, but to the community leisure facilities that are available there, and it will also relief some of the local congestion.”
“So I would like to thank all that have worked hard with us to make this road a reality and look forward to celebrating the success it brings.”
Councillor Colin Noble, leader of Suffolk County Council, said: “The delivery of the Bury St Edmunds Eastern Relief Road has shown a clear commitment to bringing investment to Suffolk by us, the county council, and our partners the New Anglia LEP and St Edmundsbury Borough Council, who have all worked together on making this a reality.
“The road will not only ease congestion in the area, but also economically unlock a large area of land with the potential to create thousands of jobs.
“I look forward to knowing the road will be open for use on Monday.”
On its website, Suffolk County Council said Sow Lane in its entirety will open on or before Monday, allowing the closure of General Castle Way in order to complete the final phase of works.
The final phase is expected to last four weeks and a diversion will be in place during this time.