The plans for Sudbury’s proposed new bus station in Girling Street took a hit this week when a steering group member criticised the plans and the ‘sham’ consultation.
Chris Storey, who is also a member of the Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, said: “As a member of the Sudbury Steering Group I have been actively involved in the discussions regarding the proposed bus station.
“I have been increasingly concerned that the approach taken by Suffolk County Council (SCC) to the proposed layout at Girling Street has been wrong.
“Also that there is a lack of inspiration coupled to poor quality design that has arrived at the present proposals that are out for consultation.
“It is my personal view that the current design lacks any sort of inspiration or real benefit to the population other than in delivering the bare minimum pathetic excuse for a bus station that Suffolk County Council seems to consider Sudbury warrants.”
The steering group has been central to the relocation of the bus station from Hamilton Road, giving the steer to Suffolk County Council for a new location and design, as it wants to redevelop the Hamilton Road area for a leisure and retail offer. Mr Storey also questioned the recent pre-planning consultation by the county council.
He said: “I also consider that the recent public consultation needs to be looked at carefully to establish whether this was a sham.”
“How can a consultation period end on October 25 and consider the views of the public seriously and get a planning application submitted on November 16?”
Mr Storey would like to see a more attractive design. Although concerned by the parking loss he said Girling Street was the right location.
He also said buses being given priority turning into Girling Street from the station via new signalling is fine, but raises concerns about the same method being used by lorries and disabled drivers using the station for the delivery and disabled parking bays contained within it.
“This is quite patently unacceptable given the traffic on Girling Street already. What is required is to completely segregate all vehicles other than buses from the bus station.
“This is achievable, it is practical and this point has been made to SCC and Babergh and they still proceeded with consultation on what I view as this defective design.” He said either the local authorities should get it right or not do it all.
“If SCC and Babergh cannot deliver a proper solution at this time they should not proceed with the redesign or move of the bus station,” he said.
The full plans and consultation is available on the Suffolk County Council website.