Motorist's roadwork frustration for car journey times across town

Bury St Edmunds resident Richard Baker

Bury St Edmunds resident Richard Baker expressed his concern that roadworks and traffic were putting people off coming into town - Credit: Charlotte Bond/contributed

What should have been a 15-minute journey across Bury St Edmunds took a frustrated driver more than an hour due to roadworks.

Richard Baker, who lives on the Moreton Hall estate, was left feeling exasperated by temporary traffic lights and road closures, and others have also expressed their disgruntlement on social media.

Richard Baker said a 3.5-mile journey across Bury St Edmunds took him more than an hour

Richard Baker said a 3.5-mile journey across Bury St Edmunds took him more than an hour - Credit: Contributed

Some of the works are by CityFibre, which is rolling out full fibre infrastructure, others are by Suffolk County Council, which runs Suffolk Highways, including the closure of Barton Hill to construct a new footway.

And Anglian Water has also been working in areas of the town, although the burst pipe in Station Hill has now been repaired and the road reopened.

The Christmas lights are on in Bury St Edmunds

The Christmas lights in Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Mr Baker, 55, a science technician, had been taking his daughter across town for maths tuition on November 26 when 3.5-mile journey took an hour and 10 minutes by car - when it should have been 10 or 15 minutes on a normal evening.

"It's just mad. It certainly seems there's no effort in co-ordinating roadworks or traffic management," said Mr Baker, who usually cycles into town. "I would rather be wet, cold, miserable on a bike rather than driving in now."

He expressed his concern that the roadworks, as well as increased parking charges, would put people off coming into town in the run-up to Christmas.

"A lot of people are going to Ely, where there's free parking," he said. "People have also said they are going to Newmarket or Stowmarket."

Mark Cordell, CEO at ourburystedmunds BID

Mark Cordell, CEO at Our Bury St Edmunds BID - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Mark Cordell, chief executive of the town's Our Bury St Edmunds Business Improvement District (BID), said: "I am aware of lots of internet fibre improvement work going on and some planned and emergency work this week [starting November 29] by Anglian Water.

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"It would of course be ideal if all of this work could be co-ordinated to minimise disruption but this isn’t always possible despite the best intentions and endeavours of Suffolk County Council."

Roadworks in Bury St Edmunds shown on the website

Roadworks in Bury St Edmunds shown on the website - Credit: Screenshot

Some of the roadworks that caused recent delays are now finished, but in several other areas there are works that will continue into the New Year, such as near Abbeygate Sixth Form in Beetons Way.

Robert Everitt, a county councillor for Tower, said there was never a good time to do the improvement and emergency works, adding: "We are in a no-win situation".

"We just have to bite the bullet and do it. If there was an answer the people at Suffolk County Council would have found a way to do it," he said.

He "sincerely" hoped visitors would not be discouraged from coming into town, adding the Christmas grotto at the Arc had brought in thousands of people.

Suffolk County Council was approached for comment.

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