MP vows to help keep bypass plans alive
SOUTH Suffolk MP Tim Yeo has vowed to fight to help save a proposed £30m bypass scheme, which recently suffered major setback.As revealed by the EADT last week, plans to build a new bypass around the western side of Sudbury to relieve the town centre of much traffic could be jeopardised by concerns in Essex.
SOUTH Suffolk MP Tim Yeo has vowed to fight to help save a proposed £30m bypass scheme, which recently suffered major setback.
As revealed by the EADT last week, plans to build a new bypass around the western side of Sudbury to relieve the town centre of much traffic could be jeopardised by concerns in Essex.
Department for Transport representative Emma Cliffe recently told councillors in Sudbury that the Suffolk County Council scheme will fail unless it is supported by both Essex County Council and Braintree District Council – but both authorities are so far refusing.
Mr Yeo says he will now do everything in his power to keep the scheme, which people in Sudbury have spent the past three decades campaigning for, alive.
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He said: "I think it is disgraceful that the Government could allow this scheme to fail because of the opinions of councillors who do not even live near Sudbury, and may not have a full understanding of the situation.
"People in Sudbury have been campaigning for a bypass for so long and there is absolutely no doubt that it is very much needed to preserve the historic core of the town. I will try to find out exactly what the problems are and will do everything in my power to prevent the scheme from failing."
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The difficulties have arisen because a small part of the proposed 3.2km route would cross the county border into Essex on to land which comes under the authority of Braintree District Council.
Both Essex County Council and Braintree District Council have raised serious concerns over the merits of the bypass, fearing it could have an adverse impact on the natural environment and that it could generate extra traffic through Essex.
Essex County Council cabinet member Ron Williams said recently: "It does not appear realistic or sustainable to divert traffic onto a western bypass to justify the serious adverse impact on items of environmental importance. The justification for a bypass appears weak since the traffic information shows clearly that the problem for the town is created by traffic that has an origin or destination in Sudbury."
Suffolk County Council says it will continue to promote the scheme and hopes to get Government approval to allow the road to be built during the next phase of the Local Transport Plan between 2006 and 2011.
Mr Yeo added: "I will now call for a meeting with MPs and council officials in Essex to find out exactly what their concerns are and how we can overcome them. I understand the concerns for the environment, but there is no doubt the road is needed and that is backed by the people of Sudbury who will be living nearest to the road."