Months of roadworks on major Bury St Edmunds route as council start £2.8million improvement scheme
- Credit: Archant
Months of major roadworks on a key route into Bury St Edmunds are set to start, as a double roundabout is removed under £2.8million plans to improve roads across the town.
The work is likely to cause significant disruption at rush hour, with temporary traffic lights and road closures planned while the busy Cullum Road/Parkway double roundabout is replaced with a single roundabout.
Traffic crossing between Cullum Road, Parkway and Out Westgate will be managed by the temporary signals for more than two and a half months, while Westgate Street will be closed for almost three months.
Daytime works are due to start on June 5 and will not be complete until August 25, with nighttime working set to carry on until September 2.
David Nettleton, Suffolk County councillor for the Tower Division, said he was concerned the works - which are the first of part of a major improvement scheme at several key junctions - were not consulted on with the councillors after the election.
“I am worried this sets a precedent for the other planned works,” he said. “I don’t agree with traffic lights. As someone who walks across the junction, I don’t use the Parkway traffic lighted crossing as it is currently unsafe.”
Mr Nettleton agreed the double roundabout should be removed, but added they should have spoken to the councillors who have local knowledge of the busy junction. The county council said delaying the works for further consultation with councillors would cost time and money.
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Regarding the disruption caused by the works, Mr Nettleton said: “I have no issue with that, you have to break eggs to make an omelette. But it is only acceptable if they do it right the first time.”
The planned works at the double roundabout will see a single roundabout created, with extra traffic lighted crossings and walkways for cyclists and pedestrians. The county council said the work will make the junction safer.
But Paul Hopfensperger, St Edmundsbury Borough councillor who sits on the Bury Town Masterplan group, said the scheme will make the situation more congested and less safe. He argued for a shared-access raised roundabout, where every user has a right of way, adding that traffic light crossings were “outdated and unnecessary”,
The £2.8m is a ring-fenced grant which can only be spent on infrastructure improvements. It cannot be spent on maintenance and repairs.