Some of Suffolk County Council’s top figures visited Sudbury this week to discuss plans for a western bypass.
County council leader Mark Bee and Graham Newman, cabinet member for roads and transport and planning, met local Conservative councillors, including James Cartlidge, the Assington-based Conservative candidate for the 2015 general election, to discuss how plans could be moved forward.
Meeting in Ballingdon – where many of the complaints of traffic and pollution are centred – the trio discussed how the county authority could work with Babergh District Council, Sudbury Town Council and Sudbury Steering Group to put forward a viable case for funding.
Any future plans will have to go before the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Mr Bee said he came to show the county council’s support for resolving the town’s traffic issues and to assure people they “hadn’t been forgotten”.
“We are going to look from a county view point to see what we can do,” he said.
While clearly stating the council could not promise a bypass, he said it could help ensure the best possible case was put forward to the LEP.
He added: “Any scheme going through the LEP must have an economic benefit.”
Mr Cartlidge said: “What makes the case pressing today is that new housing planned for the town will add to the weight of traffic.
“People in these new homes will need access to employment and the bypass could deliver greater mobility to areas of employment growth, while relieving the pressure of lorries driving through the centre of town, helping to support the quality of life for all.”
Mr Newman confirmed he was in ongoing discussions with councillors in Essex, discussing the benefits and the disruption that could come from building a bypass in the future.
County councillor Peter Beer, who also attended Monday’s meeting, argued that wildlife should not be allowed to disrupt proposals for a relief road.
“People before wildlife,” he said. “People must come first.”
He said that, in previous projects, the environment had not been impacted negatively in the long term.