New hope for major bypass schemes

CAMPAIGNERS fighting for key road improvements in Suffolk have been given fresh hope after it emerged a number of bypasses were back on the agenda.Relief roads for Sudbury, Brandon and part of the A12 in Suffolk look set to be pursued once again after it emerged there may be a change in the way such schemes are funded.

CAMPAIGNERS fighting for key road improvements in Suffolk have been given fresh hope after it emerged a number of bypasses were back on the agenda.

Relief roads for Sudbury, Brandon and part of the A12 in Suffolk look set to be pursued once again after it emerged there may be a change in the way such schemes are funded.

But community leaders and residents said last night they remained cautious about the latest news.

The developments follow a meeting between Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for roads and transport Guy McGregor and roads minister Dr Stephen Ladyman.


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Mr McGregor told the minister that present funding formulas were “flawed” and proposed a “top-slicing” system giving a separate budget for schemes costing between £5m and £35m.

The minister indicated he would support this concept if it was agreed on a regional level.

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Mr McGregor said: “I am of the opinion that this now means that the issues of the bypass for Sudbury is back on the agenda and that this gives us hope for us that environmental considerations will no longer be a bar to building relief roads at Brandon, Bungay and on the A12.”

There has long been calls for a relief road to take traffic away from four villages on the A12 - Farnham, Stratford St Andrew, Little Glemham and Marlesford.

Waveney MP Bob Blizzard said: “I was enormously encouraged by the minister's response. It is clear that, in his own words, there is an 'open door' for this scheme.

“We now all have to work together to get this scheme up the region's priority list. This scheme would tackle the worst stretch of the A12, a tortuous route where you have to drive through the villages in convoy.”

Meanwhile, in Sudbury, borough and town councillor John Sayers, who has fought for improvements for 30 years, said: “With all the industrial development in the town, a bypass, or service road, is now imperative.

“We have had to endure so many broken promises. But now without it, Sudbury will just continue to be heavily congested and a place no one wants to come to.”

The news also gave renewed hope to residents in Brandon, who feel a bypass is the only way to solve “chaotic” traffic problems.

Town council chairman Reginald Sylvester said: “We have wanted a bypass for more than 20 years and this news makes us cautiously optimistic.

“I think it is the first stage and could go a long way to answering our traffic problems. It is chaotic in Brandon during peak times and this has made our need for a bypass even more desperate.”

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