Town will fight for bypass - pledge

COMMUNITY leaders fighting for a bypass around their traffic-choked town have vowed to force the issue “up the agenda” after highways bosses agreed the scheme was the only viable solution.

COMMUNITY leaders fighting for a bypass around their traffic-choked town have vowed to force the issue “up the agenda” after highways bosses agreed the scheme was the only viable solution.

A delegation from Sudbury took their case to County Hall on Friday, telling officials existing congestion problems blighting the area will only get worse unless prompt action is taken.

The group has now called for a dialogue to reopen with groups affected by the western bypass scheme in a bid to reach a workable compromise.

The news follows a pledge by Suffolk County Council to highlight the need for improvements in the local transport plan after its cabinet agreed alternative traffic measures would be unlikely to provide any long term relief for the town.

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“Since I was elected last May, I have been trying to work with the county council to introduce traffic measures to ease the problem within the Cross Street and Ballingdon area,” said Jack Owen, who represents Sudbury on the county council.

“But we are finding it increasingly difficult to come up with any kind of solution which is likely to satisfy everybody.

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“What we are doing now is looking for ways to try and resurrect the issue, making sure we keep it as high profile as we can and also seeking ways of coming to some sort of agreement with those who have opposed the scheme in the past.

“More and more traffic is being sucked through Sudbury along roads which are just not suitable for dealing with increases in traffic.

“It will only get worse and worse as a result of the extra housing which is being built around Sudbury, and the only solution is the bypass.”

Past western bypass proposals faced opposition from some neighbouring councils and those fearful over its potential environmental impact.

However, the Government refused funding and advised instead that alternative means of managing traffic in Sudbury were explored.

However, County Hall now says these measures are unlikely to provide the relief from traffic which is needed, with the bypass as the only real solution.

“The proposed growth of the area and the additional houses which are being built are all going to add more pressure to the roads and we want the powers that be to bear that in mind,” said Peter Beer, who represents Great Cornard on the council and was part of the delegation.

“We are all going to try out best and push this up the agenda. We have increased industry in Sudbury which has brought more traffic, but we would attract even more business if we had a better road system.

“Environmental factors are important but we also have to remember the people of Sudbury and the surrounding area, and the fact that the travelling public need to get through the town.

“We now have to work together to find ways in which we can reach a compromise - for everybody's benefit, as it is only going to get worse.”

Following Friday's meeting, Guy McGregor, council portfolio holder for roads and transport, pledged the need for improvements would be highlighted on the new local transport plan.

He said: “We all shared disappointment in the failure of the previous administration to secure acceptance of the much needed Sudbury western bypass.”

The council will now begin negotiations with Essex County Council to establish cross-border cooperation with regards to the problem.

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