Wheels of change turn me off

Latest letters from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest letters from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
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A after all this time on the back burner, there’s a push to get a bypass for Sudbury and improve our railway link to London.

A group of Tory town and district councillors have launched a campaign to keep the town moving with the promise of exploring funding options available.

A bypass has been on a list of improvements for our town for years and years – along with the Chilton Woods development and the redevelopment of the Hamilton Road area.

I’m sure there are plenty of people in favour of a bypass and rail improvements, not least because they will bring more people and businesses into the area, create more jobs, boost house prices and give us a big economic uplift.

Of course, we need a town that thrives. But, I don’t know about you, I wonder how it will change the face of Sudbury.

Perhaps I’m being too protective, but do we really want to become a commuter town?

This happened in Colchester, where we lived when our children were small. Having lived in this area for a decade, I often reflect on how Colchester changed as a result of more homes and expansion.

A few years ago, it was the fastest growing town in Europe, with new housing estates built for commuters and, as a result, a desperate shortage of schools.

I don’t venture to Colchester these days for fear of a traffic jam – and the frustration of having to spend the astronomical sum of £7.50 to park the car for an hour. Give me Sudbury any day.

So, while a bypass will help keep HGVs away from the town, and a faster and direct rail journey will improve commuting for those who do, these developments will inevitably change the face of our market town – and maybe not all for the better.

I have used this column in the past to moan about customer service, so I think it’s probably about time I presented a bouquet rather than a brickbat.

It all started when the car park ticket machine swallowed my £2 at the car park opposite Sudbury’s Kingfisher Leisure Centre without issuing a ticket.

Annoying – but I took down the council’s customer service number and rang it the following day to be put through to a charming man in charge of car park technology at Babergh District Council.

He was able to confirm that, indeed, something strange had happened at the time I stated, and yes, his computer log clearly showed there had been a blip in the smooth-running of that machine. He would be able to authorise a refund. Great.

But this is where customer service took a more personal turn – he checked where I lived and offered to drop the £2 off to my home which he said he would be passing in a couple of weeks’ time.

Wow – I couldn’t have been more impressed. What a result. Well, actually no.

So far, he has failed to materialise, and my £2 is still outstanding. Maybe he’s forgotten.

Still, at least I got through to customer service and wasn’t put on hold, forced to listen to an endless loop of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons while fighting off the onset of cramp in my hand.