Mixed feedback at exhibition for Sudbury bus station plans

Councillors at the Bus Station Exhibition''Pictured: Sue Ayres (Deputy Mayor), David Holland (Town and District councilllor) and Ellen Murphy (Town Councillor) ANL-150707-145155009
Councillors at the Bus Station Exhibition''Pictured: Sue Ayres (Deputy Mayor), David Holland (Town and District councilllor) and Ellen Murphy (Town Councillor) ANL-150707-145155009

Feedback was mixed for plans for Sudbury’s new bus station at the opening of the public exhibition.

Members of Sudbury Steering Group were on hand to guide people through the plans and show how they selected the preferred option which would see two hubs with lay-ins in Girling Street and Great Eastern Road.

The group selected a split-hub station model as its preferred option from seven proposals from Suffolk County Council,

Friday was the first chance for residents to look at the proposals including the designs that were dropped by the steering group.

Feedback from the residents and town councillors in attendance was mixed, with most criticism aimed at possible congestion issues in Girling Street.

Margaret Maybury, Babergh district councillor for the Waldingfield Ward said she was in favour of the plans.

“I like the split option. I would suggest it would open up North Street for some new development.

“I think it’s often overlooked as the area people visit first. It would be great if it was given a new lease of life.”

Sudbury mayor and former steering group member Jack Owen was less confident about the Girling Street stop.

Mr Owen backed the split-option model and the need for redevelopment at the steering group meeting which followed the exhibition.

But he said he was not convinced of whether Girling Street was the right location, particularly with high levels of congestion and concerns from residents on the road.

At the exhibition, steering group chairman Simon Barrett reiterated that the ultimate aim of the proposals was the redevelopment of the Hamilton Road Quarter, which members say is only possible if the station is moved.

This re development is likely to take in Navigation House, already purchased by Babergh District Council, currently housing Netta’s Dry Cleaners and Sirens Gowns.

The Fleetway Garage and Auto Centre and Carpet Connections site is also likely to be sought as part of the redevelopment.

The meeting and exhibition was a first chance for many in the town to see all seven plans and discuss why the other options were dropped.

Option one, to redevelop the current site, was deemed unfavourable because of the group’s desire to redevelop the Hamilton Road Quarter, while option three, with access off Great Eastern Road, was also deemed to require too much of the valuable plot.

Option two would have seen bus shelters along King Street in the town centre, which members of the steering group felt was totally unsuitable in the historic market square.

Option four Mr Barrett described as “quite a good scheme” utilising the car parking space in front of the leisure centre, however, members felt the distance from the town centre and the loss of parking were major concerns.

Option five to have a transport hub adjacent to the train station was equally deemed to be too far from the town centre, while option six would have seen a station entirely in Girling Street, with it decided that this again took too many parking spaces.

Mr Barrett said that therefore the preferred plan, option seven, gave “the best of both worlds”.

The exhibition at the Sudbury Heritage Centre and Museum in Goal Lane, runs 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, until July 17, and on Saturday from 10am to 4pm.