Sudbury: Town’s traffic woes in the spotlight

Gainsborough Street - part of Sudbury's one-way system

Gainsborough Street - part of Sudbury's one-way system - Credit: Archant

A MEETING giving people a chance to air their concerns about ongoing traffic problems in the centre of Sudbury has been hailed as a success by those who attended.

The county council’s highways chiefs hosted the day-long Sudbury and Great Cornard: Transport and the Public Realm forum at the town hall. It was attended by councillors, charity bosses, business owners and students.

Suffolk County Council has set aside about £460,000 to spend on highways projects in the town, and the meeting – which formed the first part of a local transport plan consultation process – enabled stakeholders to have a say about how the money should be spent.

Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for roads and transport said: “The event was a great success, a diverse range of issues were expressed and people were very creative in their ideas.

“A report will now be created following the event and this will be available to view on Suffolk County Council’s website. This event is the first stage. There will be further consultation to help develop a programme of transport schemes for Sudbury.”

Three town councillors presented a list of priority schemes identified by Sudbury’s highways and footpaths committee, including trials of 20mph speed zones, changes to the strategic lorry route and the possible implementation of residents parking permits.

Stephen Thorpe of the Sudbury Society described the meeting as “inspiring,” adding: “We were sent on a town-centre walkabout so we could weigh up the strengths and weaknesses of the existing situation, and we then gave our thoughts about the town’s development towards 2031 and what we saw as short, medium and long-term priorities.”

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The Sudbury Pilot Steering Group, whose membership includes district, town and county councillors, set out its key priorities in a document which was presented to the highways department.

The county council initially suggested that Sudbury’s Market Hill should be redeveloped. But the steering group’s chairman Simon Barrett said: “In our view, there are more important priorities elsewhere in the town centre. We do not want to see the loss of short-term car parking on Market Hill, which provides a valuable contribution to the local retailers.”

The group’s focus is on improving traffic flow and pedestrian access at key junctions. It also wants to reduce HGV movements through the town and is pushing for the HGV park to be relocated to the new Chilton Woods development when it is built. The steering group’s priorities include the redevelopment of the town’s Hamilton Road quarter, where the bus station is located.

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