DCSIMG

True cost of ‘pointless’ town centre crossing was £90,000

CROSSING WAS MISCONCEIVED: David Holland, from Curtain Craft in Sudbury, by the King Street crossing, which was finished two years ago.

CROSSING WAS MISCONCEIVED: David Holland, from Curtain Craft in Sudbury, by the King Street crossing, which was finished two years ago.

The final cost of the much-derided King Street crossing in Sudbury was nearly £90,000 – almost £25,000 more than originally thought.

Freedom of Information figures seen by the Free Press show the work came in at £88,687. This included £82,453 on construction costs and £6,234 on staff.

Since the crossing was completed in June 2012, many people have been critical of the concrete hump and the reported £65,000 which was spent on it.

Sudbury businessman David Holland, who requested the figures from Suffolk County Council, said the scheme for the crossing had not been well-conceived.

“It was a perfectly viable crossing point before, and now it is just four inches higher,” said Mr Holland, owner of Curtain Craft in King Street. “It is bonkers.”

The crossing was originally to be put in place as part of a shared space scheme drawn up by the county council for Market Hill. The project, however, was scrapped after concerns were raised about the proposals.

“When they realised it was not going to go ahead, it ceased to be part of a wider scheme and became just a crossing,” said Mr Holland.

“It was misconceived and is indicative of a bigger problem.”

Last month, Suzanne Buck, highways officer for Suffolk County Council, met Sudbury Steering Group members to discuss plans to improve congestion in the town, but no mention of the true cost of the King Street crossing was made.

The revelation means that, from an initial £450,000 set aside by the authority for work, only £322,869 remains. Other expenditure includes public consultations and work orders for improvements to the town’s bus station and Belle Vue junction.

Jack Owen, Sudbury’s deputy mayor, said the money spent on the crossing was “disgraceful”.

“I thought £65,000 was too much and this is a huge amount of money set aside for town improvements,” he said.

“The final cost should have been made clear.”

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said “officer error” had resulted in the figure not being disclosed before now.

“After being asked for a breakdown following the steering group meeting and reviewing the final contractor costs, we realised the entire cost,” he said.

Mr Holland added that an over-arching plan, including building a transport hub at the train station, switching the lorry park to an industrial estate and extending long-stay car parking on to the site, was needed to solve Sudbury’s ongoing traffic problems.

 

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