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Sudbury town councillor questions necessity of feasibility study on multi-storey car park proposal

By Priya Kingsley-Adam

Councillor Steve Hall. PICTURE: Mecha Morton. (7386518)
Councillor Steve Hall. PICTURE: Mecha Morton. (7386518)

A town councillor has criticised the necessity of a feasibility study into calls for a multi-storey car park in Sudbury, claiming the exercise would be “time consuming and costly”.

In a bid to tackle congestion and offer a wider choice of parking facilities in the town, Conservative councillor Peter Beer proposed a motion calling for Babergh District Council to commission a study and business plan into a new car park.

Town councillor Steve Hall, who represents Sudbury South, has argued that any research into additional parking is unnecessary, following the results of a more recent study, which he claims indicated that the town’s existing car parks were not being fully utilised.

“Peter Beer has a very short memory,” he said. “Three years ago, as chairman of the district and county councils’ planning committees, he and his colleagues at Babergh District Council would have been aware that there was already research suggesting that parking in the town was only ever at 76 per cent of capacity.

“This information was given in light of a steer to replace nearly 80 car parking spaces in Girling Street.

“The only thing with that figure at that time – which was being incorrectly presented – is that it was taking into account parking from all public car parks in and around the town, and was not reflective of the numbers using Girling Street car park individually; so, in essence, the figure was being spun.”

Following the research conducted three years ago, Cllr Hall questioned whether further resources could be justified.

“Concentrating on yet another study would be both time consuming and costly,” he said.

In the motion, Cllr Beer highlighted the importance of exploring the feasibility of a multi-storey car park in light of the decision to shelve plans for a relief road in Sudbury.

This follows Babergh District Council’s long-term ambition to build a multi-storey car park in North Street, which has been outlined in its Vision for Prosperity document

Cllr Hall proposed that, should the town require such a facility in the future, the most practical solution would be to expand the train station’s current car park with a second level.

In response to concerns of congestion in the town, he suggested prioritising the A134 towards junction 28 of the A12 as a key route to control the traffic flow on the A131 towards Halstead.

“This will allow a fraction of mainly local traffic to enter the town’s one-way system and keep vehicles that do not need to enter Sudbury north of the town, where roads need to be improved or developed due to future development,” he said.

The motion, which is subject to validation, will be discussed by Babergh District’s full council, at a date to be confirmed.


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