Key Town road closed completely first week schools go back
PUBLISHED: 09:00 17 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:35 17 August 2019
The closure of a key route into Bury St Edmunds could lead to “grid lock” as the summer break comes to an end and pupils go back to school.
Suffolk Highways is shutting Eastgate Street and Mustow Street between Barn Lane and Cotton Lane 24 hours a day from Monday, September 2, to Friday, September 13, for resurfacing.
A diversion will take people around the edge of the town, along Northgate Street, Compiegne Way, the A134, Hollow Road and back to Eastgate Street.
Bury St Edmunds Town Mayor Peter Thompson said "it will gridlock the entire town", adding Suffolk County Council should have given more thought to when it carried out the works, for example over the summer holidays.
He said: "It's going to have an impact on every junction of the town. This could have been significantly better thought through.
"It almost feels like we are a second thought in Bury when it comes to highways."
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But a spokesman for Suffolk County Council said the dates were agreed with members of Bury St Edmunds Town Council and West Suffolk Council.
He said: "There have been two meetings between Suffolk Highways and members of both Bury St Edmunds Town Council and West Suffolk Council in January and April 2019 respectively to discuss the resurfacing of Eastgate Street.
"The proposed work dates were agreed during these meetings following consultation with town representatives."
Mr Thompson, a town councillor for Moreton Hall, is also dismayed that instead of replacing the road surface with similar "attractive" cobble stones, a "bituminous material" will instead be used.
"They are taking away the cultural heritage," he said. "I chose this as my home as I think it's a special place. There is little thought from county when it comes to things like this - preserving Bury."
The county council spokesman said Suffolk Highways had confirmed its plans to resurface Eastgate Street with a flexible bituminous material, rather than blocks, in June - a decision he says was supported by local county councillors and accepted by the town council.
For highways updates see here.
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