Residents protest over road scheme delay

FURIOUS residents took to the streets last night to protest about delays for long-awaited road safety improvements they claim could save lives.People living in Cross Street, Sudbury, took part in a three-hour demonstration, waving placards demanding action to control the number of lorries using the narrow road.

FURIOUS residents took to the streets last night to protest about delays for long-awaited road safety improvements they claim could save lives.

People living in Cross Street, Sudbury, took part in a three-hour demonstration, waving placards demanding action to control the number of lorries using the narrow road.

They have battled for improvements for years, and their plight was made worse after Sudbury's proposed new £30 bypass was rejected by the Government earlier this year.

The move means the lorries continue to rumble through Cross Street, the main road from Essex into Sudbury along the A131.


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Residents claim there have many near-misses and say someone may be killed if immediate action is not taken.

Last night, leading campaigner Davina Keeble said: "We are sick to death of having to fear for our lives every time we step outside our front doors and the damage the heavy traffic causes to our homes.

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"We have been fighting for improvements for years and the county council recently promised we would be a priority. The work was supposed to start in September, but we are now told the whole process will start again and will have to go back to consultation.

"The situation is just not acceptable, someone is going to be killed if action isn't taken immediately.

"We will not give up and we will step-up these protests if the council still insists on these delays."

Earlier this year residents in Cross Street celebrated when Suffolk County Council's overview and scrutiny committee approved a £100,000 traffic scheme for the area.

It was to include placing bollards on the pavement to stop lorries mounting kerbs, the introduction of formal parking arrangements and a priority traffic flow scheme.

Now, following an independent safety audit, delays and changes to the scheme look certain. The county council has admitted modifications need to be made to the plans and that the work may now be spread out over two financial years.

In a letter to Cross Street residents the county's integrated transport manager Andy Johnson said: "The response to the audit, the additional concerns and revised proposals will be completed within the next four weeks and this will be followed by limited consultations and publication orders.

"Objections to the orders may delay construction work. It is likely the work will be spread over two financial years."

Last night, a council spokeswoman added: "We have sympathy with both residents and highway users in Cross Street; it is clear there is a need to introduce traffic and safety measures in the area of Ballingdon Street, Cross Street, Mill Hill and Stour Street to reduce the impact of traffic in the area.

"We are working to introduce schemes to address local concerns and improve safety in the area. We hope to introduce some measures during this financial year."

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