Councillors in Sudbury area voice concerns about impact of Suffolk budget cuts on roads and transport services
Councillors in Sudbury and Long Melford say residents face deteriorating roads and diminished transport services, if the county council’s slashed budget goes through.
Sudbury town and county councillor Jack Owen, Labour spokesman for highways, described the budget proposals as a direct attack on roads, public transport and rural communities.
“Instead of looking after the road system by properly gritting and maintaining it, the council is planning to neglect it,” he said.
“We know this means more rural areas will be greatly affected when the bad weather returns.
“This is a false economy, because we know that when we don’t look after our roads, evidence shows our insurance pay-outs increase.
“Our rural villages will be further hit by this budget as bus subsidies will be cut.
“This will make many bus services in Suffolk financially unviable and leave many people more isolated, vulnerable or unable to get to jobs and access services.
“This is not just a desperate budget, but a dangerous budget that will leave people worse off, without the support they need.”
These views were echoed by John Nunn, councillor for Long Melford and Alpheton, who called on MPs to speak up on behalf of Suffolk, stating these proposals showed austerity is not over.
“I am appalled at the proposed cuts in the highways budget,” he said.
“Our roads infrastructure has been deteriorating for years, and now they propose to stop road sign cleaning, along with reducing winter gritting services.
“This will clearly be putting the general public in danger on our roads.
“They propose to stop displaying bus timetables at the roadside. How much will this save? Not a lot, I would suggest, but the inconvenience to bus users would be huge.
“There has to be a limit to these cutbacks. As a rural area, Suffolk is underfunded when compared nationally.”