Roadworks in Bury St Edmunds branded a ‘crackpot scheme’ due to start later this month

The Maltings cycle bridge across the A14 in Bury St Edmunds

The Maltings cycle bridge across the A14 in Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Gregg Brown

Roadworks, branded a “disaster” and a “crackpot scheme”, to improve the area surrounding the Northgate roundabout, in Bury St Edmunds, is due to begin towards the end of this month.

The announcement of the scheme comes as work underway at the Spread Eagle junction is running three weeks ahead of schedule.

The work at the roundabout is due to start on Monday, January 22, and is expected to last until Saturday, May 12, and includes a series of road closures with traffic being diverted via Tayfen Road, Station Hill and Fornham Road along with parking restrictions and traffic light controls.

It includes improvements to Compiegne Way by extending the two-lane vehicle approach into the town by widening the road.

A toucan crossing will be installed at the roundabout with the junction of Tayfen Road and the cycle path from Cannon Street will link to the pedestrian/cyclist space on Fornham Road (connecting to The Maltings cycle bridge).

The decision to carry out the works follows a four-week consultation back in the summer where the majority of respondents supported plans to improve traffic flow and facilities for pedestrians and cyclists along Compiegne Way, Out Northgate, Station Hill and Tayfen Road.

Jane Storey, Suffolk County Council’s deputy leader, said: “Many people believe the facilities for walking and cycling in the Tayfen Road and Compiegne Way area could be improved and we want to see that changes are made to make those improvements.

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“Growth in Bury St Edmunds will change traffic patterns in the town as well as seeing more people walking and cycling into the town centre.”

But David Nettleton, Independent councillor for Suffolk County Council, St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Bury Town Council, has written to the county council asking for nine questions to be answered.

He said: “This is a disaster Jane Storey is planning for the area and I have pleaded with her not to go ahead with this crackpot scheme.”

Suffolk Highways’ other scheme at the Spread Eagle junction, is running ahead of schedule.

Resurfacing and lining is scheduled to take place over five nights from January 22 while the finishing touches to ensure the traffic lights run as effectively as possible will take place for from January 29 – meaning the scheme could be completed at least three weeks ahead of schedule.

The closure of Petticoat Lane will be removed on February 19 and the new, permanent traffic lights will be commissioned on February 1.

Councillor Storey added: “It’s great that the work at the Spread Eagle junction will be completed ahead of schedule. Those on site have worked extremely hard to make the works as short as possible and I thank everyone for their patience while we have delivered these improvements.”

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