One way system in Bury St Edmunds is ‘wrong way round’ claims councillor that ‘doesn’t even’ own a car

Aerial shot of Bury St Edmunds

Aerial shot of Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Archant

The one-way system in the centre of Bury St Edmunds needs a “radical” rethink, with claims it causes more problems than it solves.

The system is not currently up for review by the county highways department, but Suffolk County councillor David Nettleton, who does not drive, believes it is “the wrong way round”.

He has submitted a detailed document to the council outlining his plans, which he thinks are needed to support the fulltime pedestrianisation of Abbeygate Street, in the town centre.

The independent Mr Nettleton, who represents the Tower Division in the centre of Bury, said: “The system is not working, it needs a radical rethink.

“They know it is wrong, it is just incredibly difficult to get them to change it. I have come up with what I think is the best solution. From what I can see, most of the roads are the wrong way round.

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“I would obviously want to do this in full consultation, but sometimes you need to make changes that are for the good of the town, despite many people opposing it.”

The system has remained as it is for decades and Mr Nettleton, who lives in the historic core, believes several roads need to be reversed to help with congestion and traffic flow.

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His proposal would see the one-way direction reversed on Lower Baxter Street, Guildhall Street (North), Churchgate Street, Guildhall Street (South), Whiting Street (South) and Bridewell Lane.

The St Edmundsbury Borough Mayor, Robert Everitt, said he supported the full time pedestrianisation of the Abbeygate Street, agreeing with Mr Nettleton that it was confusing for residents and visitors.

However, he said he did not want to “presume” to know more than the highways department, highlighting that it was not as simple as just changing roads.

“I really don’t think I am best placed to comment on something that has been suggested by somebody that doesn’t even drive a car and is not an expert on highways issues,” he said.

“I think we always need to look at the way that traffic flows around our town, but it would have to be done in consultation with those that live and work here.”

It is not the first time Mr Nettleton, has tried to suggest changes to the town centre. Last week The EADT reported his bid to see the Angel Hill and Cornhill car parks closed, with the historic grid becoming a pedestrian-only zone.

A spokesman for the county council said: “A budget has been allocated and a brief issued to consultants to carry out a review of the hours of operation of the timed closure of Abbeygate Street.

“There are no plans currently to undertake a wide ranging review of the one way streets that make up the historic grid within the town.

“Should the review of the hours of operation of Abbeygate Street closures indicate a change to the wider one way street network, then this will have to be a separate initiative.”

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