Traffic dispute splits councils

A ROW has broken out between town and county councillors over plans which some fear will lead to traffic congestion and detract from an iconic Suffolk landmark.

A ROW has broken out between town and county councillors over plans which some fear will lead to traffic congestion and detract from an iconic Suffolk landmark.

Newmarket town councillors are unhappy with consultations carried out in a bid to reduce traffic problems - which have seen only one design emerge for the roundabout close to the town's famous clock tower.

This has led to claims that the county council are forcing through plans, because it had been hoped that a number of options would be made available for consideration.

Bill Burch, a Newmarket town councillor and chairman of the clock tower committee, said “I'm very unhappy with the situation, we only have one scheme to choose from and it is not what we asked for.


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“It isn't a consultation, they are simply telling us what they are doing. At meetings they put forward ten different schemes and we discussed them with us. We decided which one was most suitable and we proposed it to them.

“We understood they were going to put forward two or three forward for public discussion but they have presented only one.”

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But Guy McGregor, county council portfolio holder for roads and transport, defended the plan which he said was the most “realistic” option.

“What we have come up with is affordable, fit for purpose design which addresses the needs of the people of Newmarket,” he said.

“Their views have been taken on board and we have modified the design accordingly. The county council are the highways authority, we must take responsibility and we have come up with the best solution.

“If anything significant comes up in the consultation we will change the design.”

Mr McGregor said the money for the improvements to the roads around the monument had come from the Waitrose redevelopment package and if they didn't use it there “was a danger they might lose it”.

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