Highways chief apologises for traffic chaos caused by roadworks and gives updates on bypass, pollution and link road.

John Sayers at the Clermont Ave/Chaucer Rd link ENGANL00120120110111458
John Sayers at the Clermont Ave/Chaucer Rd link ENGANL00120120110111458

Apologies for roadworks, updates on the bypass and new plans for a Sudbury link road were among highways issues mentioned at Sudbury’s town council meeting on Tuesday.

James Finch, cabinet member for highways and transport for Suffolk County Council attended the meeting and gave updates on a number of issues from around the town.

This included apologising for the inconvenience caused during the series of roadworks which left the town severely snarled up in August as numerous works took place at the same time.

Councillors were also told that three plans were being discussed for the Chaucer Road and Clermont Avenue Link road.

The link was completed in 2012 but it took a year to be signed off by the county council.

The ‘egg box’ engineering works were designed to prevent cars and vans from using the route as a rat run, only allowing emergency vehicles and buses to pass through.

In December 2014 a bus was damaged during a trial run of the route and a service using the road to connect to the town’s community health centre and Tesco supermarket was scrapped.

There has been criticism of the design, with councillor Jack Owen saying a rising bollard should have been used instead.

Residents have complained that motorcycles, vans and larger vehicles use the road as a rat run.

After the accident in 2014 Sudbury town and Suffolk county councillor John Sayers described the situation “extraordinary” blaming a poor design, which he said would need to be completely reworked.

However at the meeting on Tuesday night councillors were told there were three options; a formal redesign, putting a barrier in to allow only emergency access and to remove the link altogether.

Mr Finch said engineers preferred the second option with the redesign or removal likely to be very expensive.

After the meeting Mr Owen said: “We’ve got so used to the slowness of them [SCC] dealing with issues that it’s no surprise anymore.

“It’s a big issue for the people in Chaucer. The quicker they deal with the issues the better. I suspect it won’t be dealt with very quickly at all.”

The latest plans to alleviate Cross Street’s well publicised air pollution problems was discussed with proposals for a car park to be opened for residents opposite the Mill Hotel allowing for the removal of the parking bays on the road which prevents the flow of traffic.

Town councillor Nigel Bennett added that this did not solve the problem of the HGVs - a major cause of the pollution.

Mr Finch said a report following a £100,000 survey on the proposed Sudbury bypass was due to be released next month and said that he had helped take the relief road from “appendix six, letter Z” of proposed works in the region and put it into the top 10.