Report delay puts the brakes on Sudbury’s plans to solve its traffic problems

Sudbury traffic

Sudbury traffic - Credit: Archant

County highways chiefs have been accused of “holding up” plans to solve Sudbury’s ongoing list of traffic woes.

The town has been identified in the county council’s 20-year local transport plan (LTP3) as one of 11 strategic towns earmarked for future significant growth.

As part of the plan, £450,000 was allocated for transport schemes to support that expansion, but the money must be spent by the end of March next year.

The county held a consultation at Sudbury Town Hall in February to give interested parties a chance to have a say on where the money should go.

The findings were originally due to be reported back to the Babergh-led Sudbury Steering Group in March but the county was not ready.

Suzanne Buck, of the authority’s transport strategy team, then promised that a full report would be back by September but at a meeting last Friday the findings had still not materialised.

This has further fuelled concerns among local people who are already angry that £127,000 of the £450,000 has been spent with no tangible results apart from a traffic hump in King Street – branded as “useless” by many councillors and residents – which took around £90,000 of the budget.

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It is anticipated that the remaining LTP3 budget for Sudbury will be spent on work associated with the Belle Vue roundabout area. But the lack of a decision on vital transport issues could hold up plans for a major economy-boosting rejuvenation of the Belle Vue and Hamilton Road areas.

At the steering group meeting, Babergh’s economic development officer, Sue Dawes, said: “There is still some ongoing work with the consultants in terms of modelling the area and we are awaiting a report back from Suffolk County Council but we are not expecting it back until January.”

In response local man Roger Lloyd, who has been working with the town council to push for better cycle routes in Sudbury, said: “The original promise was that it would be back by September but from the outside viewpoint there has been nothing but delays. It’s not acceptable as far as the public is concerned.”

Steering group member Jack Owen said he was worried that wider plans for Sudbury were being held up because the county was not treating the town as a priority. He also expressed concerns that the cut-off point for spending the transport cash was looming.

Last night, a spokesman for the county council was unable to give a date when the report would be finalised. But he said the March deadline for the £460k put aside by the county for Sudbury traffic could be extended.

He added: “We will continue to engage with and consult the town council and local people to provide schemes which deliver the objectives set out on the local transport plan for Sudbury.”

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