Shirl's the Girl in Sudbury

BARONESS Shirley Williams has thrown her weight behind a town's lengthy campaign for a new multi-million pound bypass.Yesterday, the Liberal Democrat life peer joined South Suffolk parliamentary candidate Kathy Pollard, in Sudbury's Cross Street, where residents say they dice with death everyday due to the amount of heavy lorries passing their homes.

BARONESS Shirley Williams has thrown her weight behind a town's lengthy campaign for a new multi-million pound bypass.

Yesterday, the Liberal Democrat life peer joined South Suffolk parliamentary candidate Kathy Pollard, in Sudbury's Cross Street, where residents say they dice with death everyday due to the amount of heavy lorries passing their homes.

People in Sudbury have been battling for a new relief road for nearly 30 years, but last year Transport Secretary Alistair Darling rejected plans for a £30m western bypass on environmental grounds.

Mrs Pollard, who has spent years campaigning for the new route, yesterday invited the Baroness to meet residents in Cross Street, who say they are forced to run a dangerous gauntlet everyday due to the increased traffic travelling through the town.


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After talking to a number of residents, Ms Williams said: "There is no doubt a terrible problem in Sudbury. What we have is a huge volume of traffic travelling through a medieval town and the two just do not mix.

"The people in Cross Street have a long history of near fatal accidents and something must be done. I think the only real solution that could solve this horrendous problem is a new bypass and that is why I have backed Kathy all the way in this campaign."

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Ms Williams was formerly a minister in James Callaghan's Labour Government, but she become one of the biggest names in politics during the 1980s when she was one of the "gang of four" who broke away to form the Social Democratic Party.

Later, she joined the Liberal Democrats and has sat in the House of Lords since 1992 as a life peer.

She is convinced her Liberal Democrat colleague, Mrs Pollard, will cause a major General Election shock by winning the South Suffolk seat.

She added: "The campaign for the bypass is just one example of how Kathy has supported local causes for a number of years.

"I think people have become disillusioned with the alternatives, so I feel Kathy has got a very good chance of winning."

Mrs Pollard added: "Shirley came here today to offer me support in my campaign, and we wanted to highlight one of the biggest issues in the town, which is the fight for the bypass.

"I brought Shirley here to hear first hand the problems the residents are facing on a daily basis. Sudbury is a beautiful town, but that beauty is being threatened by the amount of traffic now passing through and the only solution is a new bypass."

Cross Street resident and long-term bypass campaigner Davina Keeble, said: "It is fantastic someone of Shirley's stature has come here to listen to our concerns and to back our campaign.

"It is nice to be taken seriously by a politician for once, the only long term solution is a bypass, and if things carry on as they are I am sure it will not be long before we have a fatal accident in this street."

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