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What are the plans to tackle notorious congestion blackspot?

PUBLISHED: 11:46 04 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:32 04 February 2020

Suffolk County Council has launched a public consultation on proposals to relieve traffic congestion at the Tollgate junction in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Suffolk County Council has launched a public consultation on proposals to relieve traffic congestion at the Tollgate junction in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Proposals to tackle congestion and improve pedestrian safety at a notorious junction in Bury St Edmunds have been unveiled.

The current Tollgate junction is a congestion pinchpoint and only set to get worse thanks to predicted added traffic from nearby developments. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCILThe current Tollgate junction is a congestion pinchpoint and only set to get worse thanks to predicted added traffic from nearby developments. Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

Suffolk County Council (SCC) is inviting the public to give its views on a package of improvements for the north-west area of the town, including the Tollgate junction.

The junction is a renowned congestion pinchpoint and is set to get worse with additional traffic from the nearby Marham Park development and the expanded Abbeygate Sixth Form College, plus general growth in the town.

Now, SCC has launched a public consultation on three options aimed at improving traffic flow at the junction and introducing sustainable transport facilities for pedestrians.

They contain a variety of solutions including adding a pedestrian phase to the traffic lights, the addition of an extra lanes and changing the direction of travel.

Andrew Reid, cabinet member for highways, transport and rural affairs at Suffolk County Council  Picture: SIMON LEEAndrew Reid, cabinet member for highways, transport and rural affairs at Suffolk County Council Picture: SIMON LEE

The options also consider the value of the green space to the local area, with the proposals seeking to maintain as much of this space as possible.

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Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council's cabinet member for highways, transport and rural affairs, said: "The north-west side of Bury St Edmunds is becoming very congested with traffic which is only due to increase in the future.

"Planning permission has provided funding to alleviate some of the additional traffic flow generated by the recent developments.

"However, as the highways authority, we are using this opportunity to look at a longer term more sustainable solution that, while more expensive, would create even more capacity to serve the area including creating better facilities for pedestrians to reduce the town's carbon footprint and create better air quality."

The consultation began today and will run until midnight on Tuesday, March 17.

Members of the public will be able to see all of the proposals and give their views on the council website.

Hard copies of the consultation booklet can be collected from Bury St Edmunds Library or West Suffolk House, or they can be posted out on request by calling 0345 603 1842.

There will also be consultation events at The Priory Hotel in Mildenhall Road, Bury St Edmunds on Wednesday, February 12 from 3pm to 8pm and Saturday, February 29 from 10am to 3pm, where the public can learn more and speak to members of the council.

The results of the consultation will be presented at the end of April and improvement works will begin in early 2021.

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