Bottleneck junction improvements to be discussed in wake of bypass disappointment
- Credit: Gregg Brown
A revamp of a town’s most logjammed junctions is to be debated with councillors in the wake a controversial decision to shelve plans for a new bypass.
Community leaders in Sudbury had long hoped for a new road to alleviate escalating traffic woes in their town.
But that vision was dashed when Suffolk County Council said the £50million to £70million cost of a new Sudbury bypass would be “prohibitively high, resulting in a low cost-benefit ratio”.
After commissioning transport consultancy WSP to look into the project’s viability, SCC said improving existing junctions would be more feasible.
That provoked the anger of many residents, with Sudbury Town Council writing a letter to county council leader Matthew Hicks to complain the town was being treated like the “poor relation” of Suffolk.
But Mary Evans, the county council’s cabinet member for highways, transport and rural issues, has now moved to reassure community leaders in the town they will get a full say over junction improvements.
“I regret the way that the outcome from the options report was communicated to interested parties and will ensure, with officers, that lessons are learnt from this,” she said.
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“The council is now proposing to work with WSP to design junction improvements in more detail and model what the junction improvements could achieve.
“We will also look to secure a source of funding to deliver any improvements.
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“We will be holding meetings in Sudbury for town, Babergh and county councillors, as well as the wider stakeholder group.
“This will give an opportunity to hear first-hand from the consultants who have conducted the work and to ask them any questions.
“We hope to work with councillor colleagues in Sudbury on the junction improvement programme.”
The junctions proposed for development are the A134/A131/B1064, A134/B1115, A134/Newton Road/Shawlands Avenue, A131/Newton Road/Cornard Road/Great Eastern Road (Belle Vue Junction), A131 Ballingdon Hill/Bulmer Road.
In the letter sent earlier this week, town clerk Jacqueline Howells and Sudbury county councillor Jack Owen said: “Sudbury is so often a poor relation and appears to have lost out to other major road schemes planned for Ipswich and Lowestoft.
“Residents and councillors alike feel that they have been badly let down by Suffolk County Council and are appalled at the decision to scrap the relief road proposal.”