New link road is a circle of opportunity
THE idea of creating a new link road to relieve pressure on an existing dual carriageway may seem fanciful.But the next generation of drivers could travel to work on a route which circles the A14 at Bury St Edmunds – if the proposal dreamed up as a solution to the town's current traffic problems goes ahead.
THE idea of creating a new link road to relieve pressure on an existing dual carriageway may seem fanciful.
But the next generation of drivers could travel to work on a route which circles the A14 at Bury St Edmunds - if the proposal dreamed up as a solution to the town's current traffic problems goes ahead.
Although officials say the likelihood of such a scheme actually taking place is 'negligible', they are hopeful a study of traffic movements along the carriageway will help identify ways through which future demand can be managed.
Ian Poole, planning policy manager for St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said the body had been in discussions with highways bosses at County Hall regarding the study.
“The two junctions on the A14 at the sugar beet factory and Moreton Hall are near capacity,” he said. “We are seeking a comprehensive study along the length of the corridor between Cambridge and Felixstowe regarding these issues and ways to accommodate future growth.
“One or two people have said the only way we could resolve the problems would be to bypass the A14 around Bury, but nothing is hard and fast to say this is the plan as it is very, very early days.
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“We are all aware that road is getting busier, but talk of a bypass is pure speculation. Maybe we can find ways, as far as Bury is concerned, of managing these junctions better.”
Mr Poole said the costs of a comprehensive traffic study, which would take place in partnership with County Hall, district councils and the Highways Agency, could run to a six-figure sum.
Currently, queues of cars form during rush hour as workers struggle to enter Bury. Backlogs of traffic can stretch along slip roads at both the Moreton Hall and sugar beet factory junctions and onto the busy main road - causing a hazard for motorists.
John Griffiths, leader of the council, said the problem was unlikely to ease in the future, and welcomed the possibility of a study designed to help combat further backlogs.
“We are participating in a study which is important, because the existing intersections are already nearing capacity,” he said. “Obviously looking in the long term at anything that can be done to relieve this current and future pressure would be welcomed.”
But David Nettleton, an independent St Edmundsbury borough councillor, said the main problems lie within the town itself.
“I would rather we look at how we better use the present road infrastructure,” he said. “We should be offering alternatives to car use rather than encouraging it.
“There have been suggestions of building an outer ring road as well as an inner ring road, however I do not think that will solve the problem. We need to tackle the movement of traffic in and around Bury St Edmunds.”
No one from Suffolk County Council was available for comment.