Traders’ town signage plea

COMMUNITY chiefs have pledged a wholesale review of signs in a Suffolk town amid concerns from independent traders that they have been left out.

Businesses in some parts of Bury St Edmunds, such as Risbygate Street and St John’s Street, claim there are not enough signs in the centre to point visitors to their shops.

Their concerns have now been backed by the county councillor for the town’s Tower division, Mark Ereira, who called on St Edmundsbury Borough Council to install signs in a new car park to point shoppers towards independent traders rather than the nearby multi-million pound Arc shopping centre.

The borough council wants to use the �750,000 School Yard plot in Bury St Edmunds as a 40-space car park.

Mr Ereira said: “The traders in Risbygate Street are very close to the Arc and their concerns are ‘what about us?’

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“I think the council really needs to address the needs of independent retailers and to think beyond the Arc.

“It is with the independents that we really need to be putting our energies.

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“With this car park being opened, I think there should be some really nice signing which says on the left is Risbygate Street. I feel it is really important.”

John Balaam, who runs Balaam’s Music in Risbygate Street, said a lack of signs to areas like his road had been a long-standing issue.

“There has been a deficiency there and it is a long-standing one. There are always people wondering where the town centre is, never mind Risbygate Street,” he said.

He said people wanting to find the Arc shopping centre were well catered for, but added: “If you want something specific, you’re stuffed.”

Councillor Sara Mildmay-White said the School Yard car park was right next to Risbygate Street so she doubted people would struggle to find the road.

However, she agreed the town’s signs did need looking at and said that a review was currently taking place.

“It is all a bit bitty – some of it works, some of it doesn’t,” she said. “We are only too aware of the difficulties traders have.”

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