Campaigners hand over petition against Sudbury bus station move to highways chief

Campaigners against moving the bus station in Sudbury to Girling Street car park hand over their petition to James Finch, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for highways and transport. Teresa Bishop with James Finch. ANL-161012-154540001
Campaigners against moving the bus station in Sudbury to Girling Street car park hand over their petition to James Finch, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for highways and transport. Teresa Bishop with James Finch. ANL-161012-154540001
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A petition against Sudbury bus station being moved to a car park has been handed over to the county council’s highways chief.

Save Our Bus Station (SOBS) which opposes the move to Girling Street car park from the current Hamilton Road site handed the petition, which has 6,122 signatures, to James Finch, cabinet member for highways and transport, in Sudbury on Friday morning.

Campaigners against moving the bus station in Sudbury to Girling Street car park hand over their petition to James Finch, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for highways and transport. ANL-161012-154507001

Campaigners against moving the bus station in Sudbury to Girling Street car park hand over their petition to James Finch, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for highways and transport. ANL-161012-154507001

When handing over the petition, SOBS chairman Teresa Bishop said the group had not received a reply to its concerns from the county council, which put in the planning application, or from Sudbury Steering Group which chose the site as its preferred option.

Miss Bishop said that despite public support they were still being told by councillors that it was too late for a U-turn, accusing them of not listening to them.

“This is a very contentious issue and we feel the people haven’t had the choice,” she said.

In response Mr Finch said: “We are listening, it is in the planning process. No decision has been made.”

Campaigners against moving the bus station in Sudbury to Girling Street car park hand over their petition to James Finch, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for highways and transport. Teresa Bishop with James Finch. ANL-161012-154603001

Campaigners against moving the bus station in Sudbury to Girling Street car park hand over their petition to James Finch, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for highways and transport. Teresa Bishop with James Finch. ANL-161012-154603001

The petition will now be taken in as part of the overall consultation on the plans.

The consultation is available to view and respond to on the county council website, closing today.

Kate Allsopp, another SOBS member said: “We urge people who have strong feelings to take part.”

Colin Whyles, SOBS deputy chairman, added: “We hope this has shown the strength of feeling in the town. One third of the population do not want it in Girling Street.

“We reiterate. We are not against having the bus station modernised and even moved slightly off site, but Girling Street is not the place. It is going to cause too much hassle.”

“Technically it doesn’t work. Three bus experts have confirmed that.”

Mr Whyles said he was still concerned about what would be made of the current Hamilton Road site.

He said he understood the need for regeneration but wanted assurances that whatever went in was economically viable before any plans for the bus station were given the go-ahead, citing concerns over the need for retail units in an increasingly internet-dominated age and questioning the popularity of a new cinema.

“It is very difficult to work out what to do. Until they come up with a solid plan why do anything? It could cost them a lot of money to go nowhere.”

Sudbury Steering Group has previously insisted the station must be moved first in order to attract developers.