Town’s ‘dismay’ at being ‘poor relation’ of Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 20:11 19 November 2018 | UPDATED: 20:11 19 November 2018
Frustrated leaders have vented their anger at a council for scotching their hopes for a new relief road, saying it makes their town the “poor relation of Suffolk”.
Residents in Sudbury have long campaigned for a bypass to alleviate traffic woes in the area.
But Suffolk County Council (SCC) has announced that the option of building a bypass will not be taken forward at this time, despite providing “a lot of benefits to the town”.
SCC said the cost – at between £50million and £70million – is “prohibitively high, resulting in a low benefit-cost ratio”.
That caused huge upset in Sudbury, with Jack Owen - county councillor and Labour spokesman for transport and rural affairs - arguing the decision “means that the residents and visitors to our great town will be left with another 40 years of traffic misery”.
Mary Evans, SCC cabinet member for highways, transport and rural issues, said that instead the “most feasible option for us now is to improve existing infrastructure rather than building a new road”, adding: “That is what we are now focusing our attention and resources on.”
Instead, the council will look to make improvements at a series of junctions.
But now Sudbury Town Council has sent a letter to SCC leader Matthew Hicks over its “utter dismay of reading about such a decision in the local news”.
In the letter, town clerk Jacqueline Howells and Mr Owen added: “Councillors are extremely disappointed that they were not consulted on this decision and that the county council did not consider advising town councillors or even Suffolk County councillors representing Sudbury before the announcement was made.
“Sudbury is so often a poor relation and appears to have lost out to other major road schemes planned for Ipswich and Lowestoft.”
Ms Howells and Mr Owen added that the town council has supported visions for housing growth in the area - but that was done “on the understanding that a relief road would be constructed in order to mitigate the increased traffic in our already saturated town centre”.
Ms Howells and Mr Owen went on to say: “Residents and councillors alike feel that they have been badly let down by Suffolk County Council and are appalled at the decision to scrap the relief road proposal.”