Sudbury: Could bus station make way for a new cinema complex in town?

Sudbury Bus Station (Hamilton Road) which is earmarked for a facelift.

Sudbury Bus Station (Hamilton Road) which is earmarked for a facelift.

Plans to move Sudbury’s rundown bus station to make way for a possible cinema complex are being considered by council members.

A draft document, giving six options for relocating the bus station from its current home in Hamilton Road, has been produced by the county council.

When approved, it will be published on the county council’s website to enable the public to comment on the proposals.

The bus station, which has been described as an “eyesore”, is situated in the middle of an area that has been earmarked for major regeneration.

Among the ideas put forward is to move the bus station to Babergh District Council-owned land at Kingfisher car park close to the train station, to create a ‘transport hub’.

Other suggestions include relocating it to Girling Street car park or having a series of ‘bus stop’ lay-bys around the town instead.

Highways chiefs have formulated the report based on feedback from a public consultation on the town’s transport system as part of Suffolk’s local transport plan (LTP3). Sudbury Steering Group discussed the draft bus station report at a recent meeting.

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Vice chairman Simon Barrett said: “This is all part of an ongoing program to get the best options for the Hamilton Road area, and to have a bus station taking up a third of the site makes it unviable.

“There is funding of £1million allocated for this bus station, whether it’s refurbished in its current location or moved. It’s about coming to a decision that makes sense.”

Nigel Bennett, steering group chairman, added: “If people want a cinema there, you would have to have a reasonable amount of infrastructure to go with it. There is no doubt that if you want proper redevelopment of the Hamilton Road area, then the bus station has to move.”

The bus station is an important part of Sudbury’s infrastructure and is well-used, particularly by older people. It is currently within 400m walking distance from the town centre, and the idea of moving it further away from the town is not popular with everyone.

Suzanne Buck, county council highways officer, said: “A bus service is essential for Sudbury, as use of sustainable transport is going to be key for the town going forward so you need a station of some sort which is close enough for people to use it.”

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