Southwold: Uncertain response to tourist spot traffic scheme

A decision to assign �10,000 to relocate a bus stop in Southwold in a bid to cut town centre congestion has been met with mixed reaction.

Southwold Town Council has budgeted the money in order to move a bus stop from the town centre to the Kings Head pub at the far end of the High Street – part of a traffic management scheme aimed at alleviating traffic by restricting access for large vehicles during the coming tourist season.

The scheme will prevent buses and coaches using parts of the High Street. But, at a town council meeting this week, one resident likened the scheme to “using a sledgehammer to crush a smallish nut”.

Julian Hirst, of the Southwold Traffic Group, said the scheme had not received overwhelming support, accusing the council of “committing money to something that has not had full consultation”.

Another resident, Shirley Oldman, disagreed, saying traffic had been building in Southwold for the last year and that the existing bus stop had become a “hiding place for yobs” and that it “smelled of urine”.

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The funding approval follows concerns from the town’s chamber of trade that a total ban on buses and coaches would be detrimental to High Street businesses and that the positioning of a coach stop at the King’s Head would lead to fewer parking spaces in the centre of the town.

A traffic survey also found that 39% of almost 600 people polled said they would prefer nothing was done to change the infrastructure of the town, while the remaining 71% supported better traffic enforcement.

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