‘A cyclist is going to get killed at some point’
In the wake of plans to improve Belle Vue junction in Sudbury, the provision for cyclists in the town has been questioned.
Tim Regester, part of a sub-committee looking at cycling in the town as part of Sudbury Town Council’s highways and footpaths committee, questioned the measures put in for the safety of cyclists at the junction and elsewhere across the town.
“Really, Sudbury has very little cycling infrastructure,” he said. “If it is going to get some, it needs to be top class.”
Mr Regester questioned why the town council’s cycling group had not been consulted on plans for the new junction when it could both alleviate traffic and improve the health of the county as a whole.
The town council’s highways and footpaths committee chairman, Tony Platt, said: “The committee’s cycling group was not consulted on the various options for Belle Vue junction but, to be fair, I understand that the various options are all designed with cycling needs in mind.
“Of course, the whole Belle Vue junction project was subject to major consultations on at least two occasions to which both the town council and the public had a lot of input.”
Simon Barrett, chairman of Sudbury Steering Group, said pedestrians and cyclists would get a better deal from a redeveloped junction.
Mr Regester, who regularly cycles into Sudbury from his home in Hall Street, Long Melford, said there were increasing numbers of cyclists on a system that was not fit for use.
“Somebody’s going to get killed at some point,” he warned.
He added that improved infrastructure and education for cyclists would in turn attract further bike users but thought this unlikely with the current county council.
Mr Platt agreed, saying: “The problem is that we are told that there is no money in the county council’s budget set aside for cycling – perhaps surprising given its aim to be the greenest county ”.
He added that the council had been slow in engaging with the cycle group but, following pressure, appeared to be doing so, with a meeting lined up between county officials and the group to share ideas and proposals.
Mr Regester said that encouraging car users to take up cycling would in fact save millions in health care costs.
He criticised current schemes in the town for cyclists, such as the Ballingdon Hill advanced stop line, which he said failed in its aims, and the shared path by Sainsbury’s, which he said was dangerous and marked incorrectly.