Sudbury: Residents fear new route will become ‘rat-run’ for motorcyclists

A BUS and emergency vehicle route linking two Sudbury housing estates could pose a hazard to car drivers and become a “rat-run” for motorcyclists, residents fear.

The road between the Chaucer Estate and the new Priory Estate was required as part of a planning condition dating back to 1995 between Babergh District Council, the developers and the county council highways department.

In July 2001, Babergh’s development committee decided the link should be for pedestrians, cyclists, buses and emergency vehicles only, and then developer Persimmon was told it must fund an order limiting traffic access through the link.

For years residents have been left wondering how use of the access way will be controlled, and most have pushed for a barrier that could be opened to allow access to accepted vehicles only. But last week, they were shocked to find concrete structures resembling ‘egg boxes’ on the road surface at both ends of the link and as a result, ward councillor John Sayers has been inundated with calls and e-mails from worried residents.

He said: “Their main concerns are that without a barrier or signs, someone could attempt to drive a car over these structures without realizing how high they are and this could result in a car getting badly damaged or even worse, getting stuck. They have also left a wide strip up either side of the concrete blocks which you could easily ride a motorcycle up, and people who live nearby have already seen motorbikes cutting through. They are worried it will turn into a rat-run.”

Simon Wood, technical manager for Charles Church Anglia – a division of Persimmon – said the design had been approved by the council and that a safety audit would be conducted prior to the link opening. He said: “It has been designed to prevent access by cars and a planned scheme of markings on the road, illuminated signage and bollards on the footways on either side of the route will make it clear that this is a bus-only road.”