Town 'needs more public transport cash'

THERE should be more investment in public transport to counter a reduction in car parking caused by the construction of a new shopping and leisure development in a Suffolk town, an independent report says.

THERE should be more investment in public transport to counter a reduction in car parking caused by the construction of a new shopping and leisure development in a Suffolk town, an independent report says.

The report by traffic consultants Faber Maunsell covers the transport needs of Bury St Edmunds up to 2025 and was a planning requirement for the £85milllion Cattle Market development.

Despite the construction of an underground car park, the number of parking spaces available for shoppers and visitors will be 150 less because of the development.

Local traders have repeated their warnings that if the number and type of spaces available are not increased the economy could suffer.


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Chrissie Harrod, president of Bury's Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are very concerned they are going to take away a substantial number of spaces while putting in more shops.

“The chamber has a problem with the fact that the parking is going to be behind the new development and be pay and display for only up to four hours. We would very much prefer it if people could more easily visit the old town for longer periods.”

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However, David Nettleton, St Edmundsbury borough councillor and member of the Cattle Market redevelopment working party, said: “The long term problem of congestion in Bury can be solved by a reliable and affordable park and ride scheme.

“At the moment anyone who can afford it is taking the car into the centre of town. We need to find alternatives before things get worse.

“On the one hand the town centre parking should be made more expensive but the council should offer real alternatives like a park and ride.”

Jeremy Farthing, the council's portfolio holder for transport, said St Edmundsbury was looking at a number of solutions, including park and ride.

In total the report says the proposed 862 spaces is acceptable for a development of the size of the Cattle Market.

The report assessed traffic flows and parking demands in the town and said the town required “continuous investment in measures to shift travel away from the car” and “that the (Cattle Market) scheme provides a trigger to spread the change in travel behaviour to more sustainable modes.”

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