Options revealed for improving troublesome Sudbury junction

Belle Vue junction, Sudbury

Belle Vue junction, Sudbury - Credit: Archant

Options for remodelling a busy and often hazardous road junction in Sudbury have been revealed, and highways officers are being urged to pick the simplest, most cost effective solution.

The intersection between Newton Road, Girling Street and Great Eastern Road – known as Belle Vue junction – was identified as a priority by Suffolk County Council following a consultation in the town in 2013.

According to recent research, 29,222 vehicles use the junction every day with 5,639 of those exiting the one-way system via King Street.

The brief for the county council is to enhance the situation for motorists while also improving pedestrian links and making it safer for cyclists.

Around £460,000 was put aside for improvements in the town as part of the local transport plan, but more than £120,000 has already been spent on consultations and a traffic calming road platform in King Street.

At a meeting of Sudbury Steering Group on Friday, Luke Barber of Kier construction presented five options for improving Belle Vue junction and asked the group to pick two.

Members of the public said people in the town should be consulted on all five options but county highways officer Suzanne Buck said she was anxious the rest of the budget did not get eaten up with further consultation work.

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The two options to be explored further are for a signal controlled junction or a roundabout that would enable motorists to turn right up Newton Road, which is currently not possible.

Mr Barber used areas in Ipswich such as the Duke Street, Civic Drive and Soane Street, where similar projects have been completed successfully.

Group member Lesley Ford Platt said it was “important to create safer areas for pedestrians” particularly those trying to access Belle Vue Park from the town centre.

But Babergh’s strategic director Lindsay Barker said: “The whole ‘shared space’ idea is great, but it’s also really expensive.

“We need to be able to deliver this within the financial constraints. The whole ‘gateway to the town’ issue is important but I think we can do the work quite simply - we don’t have to over engineer it. We also have to be careful that we don’t paralyse the town while we are doing the work.”

County councillor Peter Beer agreed that the project should be “simple and deliverable”. He asked officers to bear in mind the predicted growth around Sudbury which could see up to 2,000 new homes built in the area over the next 20 years.

An updated report is expected to be delivered to the steering group in March.

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