Sudbury: Discord over how �500,000 will be spent on town’s traffic scheme

ROAD improvement projects earmarked by Suffolk County Council as part of a �460,000 package are not what Sudbury ‘wants or needs’, town councillors believe.

At a meeting this week, they discussed suggestions for roadworks that were put forward by county highways chief, Guy McGregor, when he visited the town recently.

The council said it did not support the highways department’s ideas for a shared space scheme. It has provided Mr McGregor with a report outlining improvements it would like to see put in place, and is now awaiting a response.

In its original plans, the county suggested pedestrianising the north side of Market Hill, which would have prevented motorists from parking there. However, it has now dropped the idea because of objections from the town council.

Speaking at the meeting in response to questions from King Street business owner David Holland about the council’s stance on the planned roadworks, councillor Tony Platt said: “We have made it clear that while we support the idea of a shared space scheme for the town centre, we do not agree with the one that the county council has put forward. There are many good and imaginative ways of having shared space, but the county is not offering any.

“They dropped the idea of pedestrianising Market Hill because it would have removed large chunks of parking and we said it would be impossible to implement as an option because we knew what the reaction would be.

“As a result, we cannot support the county council’s shared space scheme, full stop.”

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Measures the town council would support include changes to the Belle Vue roundabout to make it safer, and creating a pedestrian-friendly environment in East Street and King Street. Other areas where councillors feel money could be well spent are on the provision of cycle routes, extra parking bays and better signage – an issue that was first highlighted in the EADT earlier this year.

A county council spokesman confirmed that the authority had allocated �500,000 for road improvements in the Sudbury area, which included a crossing in King Street that was completed last month. He said no decisions had yet been taken on the remaining projects.

He added: “As part of the Local Transport Plan, Suffolk County Council currently has �460,000 earmarked to be spent on highways improvement projects in Sudbury.

“Following feedback from the town council, we are currently reviewing the schemes for Sudbury. It’s important that the money is spent on projects that really deliver sustainable transport and economic growth in the town. The money must be spent by March 2015.”

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