Sudbury: Town claim county is neglecting verges and pavements

ROADSIDE verges, pavements and alleyways in Sudbury are in an untidy, neglected state because the town is being ‘short-changed’ by the county highways department, according to local councillors.

At a Sudbury highways and footpaths committee meeting, members said they had also received complaints about double yellow lines that had worn off and not been repainted, despite written requests to highways chiefs.

While the county council insisted Sudbury was treated no differently to other towns across Suffolk, the mayor, Jack Owen said the authority was not providing value for money, adding: “Our roads are a mess, the verges are in a shocking state and wherever you look, there are weeds growing through the pavements.

“I feel we are being badly let down by Suffolk County Council because it’s their responsibility to make sure something is done about it – and if they can’t do it, then they should give us the funding and let us do it ourselves.”

His colleague Tony Platt said: “The only time the county seems to be interested in looking after the town is when it’s time for Sudbury in Bloom and they have a big push.”

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However, a spokesman for Suffolk County Council said many of the issues raised were matters for the district council, adding: “Sudbury is not being short changed in terms of highway maintenance. The county council has established standards which are applied across the whole county to allow a fair prioritisation of the funding that is available.

“If there are particular areas of concern in respect of weeds on pavements, then these should be identified to our area highways office who will consider what can be done.”

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Sudbury councillor Ian Pointon said letters from residents concerned about faded yellow lines should be passed on to Suffolk County Council as a matter of urgency.

The county spokesman said there is a Suffolk-wide programme to review line markings and replace those that are most seriously worn at key locations.

“This has yet to be finalised but the comments from the town council will be included in that review,” he added.

Councillor Peter Gray said the town’s “untidy” appearance was not helped by the mixture of materials used on its road and pavement surfaces.

The county is considering ideas for a new town centre shared space scheme in Sudbury, and Mr Gray said: “If I walk from my house into the town, I have to cross nine different surfaces. What we need is to get some cohesive ideas of how we want the town to look before we progress the shared space scheme.”

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