Solutions to key traffic issues in Sudbury have been passed to Suffolk County Council after a “positive” meeting of councillors, officers and residents.
The consultation meeting involved a walk around the town centre to highlight problem areas and presentations from a town planning consultancy on a shared-space scheme used in Poynton, near Stockport.
Simon Barrett, chairman of the Sudbury Pilot Steering Group which presented its proposals for the local transport plan, said: “We are looking at making it so that drivers can get from Cornard Road and Great Eastern Road up to Newton Road without having to go all the way round town. There are ideas for a roundabout at the junction near Waitrose, looking to improve the traffic flow there.”
Mr Barrett added that the minor and cosmetic changes to Market Hill were put forward as sufficient to improve the area. “We consider that it works ok and there is not a lot that needs changing,” he said.
He added that he was “amazed” by the Poynton scheme, which he said had first been used in Holland and involved the removal of road signs to “open up” the space.
Students from Thomas Gainsborough School and Ormiston Sudbury Academy joined the meeting to give a younger point of view.
“This is not about quick fixes, it is about looking at strategic priorities,” said Mr Barrett, who added that the plan was for solutions by 2031. “The bypass for Sudbury is in there as a priority and in that time period it could be developed but it is not going to be in the next year or two.
“A lot of people were very positive about the whole process, it was open and everybody is able to put their thoughts across. It did feel as though the county council was listening to what we were saying.”
Lesley Ford-Platt, who represents Sudbury Market Town Partnership on the steering group, said: “We all came up with similar issues – we don’t want HGVs coming through as they are such a big problem for Sudbury, and the traffic issues in Cross Street were raised.
“The consultants running it were open-minded and wanted to hear local people’s views. My concern now is what the county council will do with that, whether it will take it on board or still want to take out the parking and pedestrianise Market Hill.”
Peter Beer, county councillor for Great Cornard, backed improvements to Sudbury bus station, which he said was in the right place but needed updating urgently in order to be fit for purpose.
“I feel that we were discussing all the concerns we can think of,” he said.
“I can’t say I have heard anything different from what has been said before though.”