Sudbury traffic chaos caused by burst main leads to renewed call for bypass

Major traffic disruption in Sudbury, as Anglian Water work on a burst pipe on Gainsborough Road.

Major traffic disruption in Sudbury, as Anglian Water work on a burst pipe on Gainsborough Road. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Another day of traffic chaos in Sudbury - this time caused by a burst water main - has led to renewed calls for a bypass.

Delays and disruption in Sudbury caused by a burst water main.

Delays and disruption in Sudbury caused by a burst water main. - Credit: Contributed

Yesterday, significant disruption and delays were expected for at least seven hours due to the burst pipe in the A131 Gainsborough Road, which is part of the town centre’s one-way system.

The police urged drivers coming into Sudbury from Essex to avoid using the A131 were possible after a HGV got stuck at the low bridge at Ballingdon Street.

Community leaders in Sudbury have said the latest traffic problems in the town highlight the urgent need for a bypass, which has been under discussion for many years.

Sudbury resident David Riddlestone, of Chaucer Road, said at times yesterday the town was brought “to a standstill”.


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He said: “Cars were forced to use side/back roads to get across town with HGVs coming in from Essex being forced on a long detour around north Essex to get back into Suffolk, taking well over an hour on a journey which would normally take just a few minutes.

“Sudbury has been waiting years for a bypass and this only goes to prove how great the need is as Sudbury’s roads are only fit for a horse and cart, which is what they were built for.”

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Simon Barrett, Babergh District Councillor for Sudbury South, was among those who got caught up in the chaos.

He said: “Had we got a bypass we would be able to mitigate these problems. It just goes to prove it is required and if you get a hold-up in the system, which would normally flow, it just highlights the town would basically come to a standstill.”

He said work was under way on a business case for a bypass to bring the vital piece of infrastructure forward.

Sudbury Mayor Jack Owen said: “It only needs one small bit of roadworks in Sudbury and the whole of Sudbury gets snarled up.”

He believes a bypass is the only option with the additional homes coming forward in the area.

“I cannot see any alternative because the roads cannot be widened,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Anglian Water said the water main burst in Gainsborough Road, near Prince Street, on Thursday night.

Their team had been working on it all night, she said, adding they hoped the problem would be resolved by yesterday afternoon.

She said: “We apologise for the disruption.”

A police spokeswoman said HGVs joining the A131 after Braintree were being advised to pick up the A120 at Braintree signed towards Colchester, and from that point to follow directions to Sudbury on the A134.

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