Consultation on Sudbury bus station criticised by campaigners

SUDBURY Petition against bus station move to Girling Street  ANL-160823-224747009
SUDBURY Petition against bus station move to Girling Street ANL-160823-224747009

A campaign group set up to oppose the proposed move of Sudbury’s bus station to the Girling Street car park has reacted to the pre-planning consultation set up by Suffolk County Council.

“We feel the consultation exhibition and public survey is totally biased towards the Girling Street option and does not present the whole bus station relocation story,” said Save Our Bus Station (SOBS) member, Colin Whyles.

“The consultation seems purely designed to ensure local residents approve the Girling Street option.”

Suffolk County Council has released plans of the bus station which includes six bus stands and bays, disabled parking, a delivery bay and a bicycle shelter.

SOBS set up a petition against the move, which has now been signed more than 6,000 times.

The Girling Street move was originally chosen as its preferred option by Sudbury Steering Group from a number of county council ideas.

The Steering Group, backed by Babergh District Council, would like to see the station removed from its current Hamilton Road location to allow the site’s redevelopment for a new retail and leisure offer.

However the SOBS committee this week opposed the view that Hamilton Road could not be developed with a bus station.

There was also criticism of the impact the move would have on trade in North Street, with the loss of 70 car parking spaces.

Mr Whyles also raised concerns over the distance to the train station and what he says has been a lack of consultation with bus companies.

“Others areas not touched on by the consultation, but likely to be of concern to residents, is how parents will drop off and pick up their children from Girling Street, since no parking will be allowed there?” said Mr Whyles. “And what will happen to pollution levels in Girling Street?”

He said the consultation had been badly managed with just one Saturday and one evening opening during the month it is taking place.

“All in all we believe the consultation is not fit for purpose and ought to be halted, re-written and re-started.”