‘Time for action’ – bus station plans defended

Sudbury Tories launched a campaign for better transport in the area last year  Pictured: Cllr Colin Spence, James Cartlidge, John Sayers, Jan and Adrian Osborn ANL-140209-082434009
Sudbury Tories launched a campaign for better transport in the area last year Pictured: Cllr Colin Spence, James Cartlidge, John Sayers, Jan and Adrian Osborn ANL-140209-082434009

There will be a public consultation on Sudbury’s bus station but residents will not get a chance to select their favourite design.

Despite calls for a full consultation on proposed plans for Sudbury’s bus station, Sudbury Steering Group will not be backing down from it’s preferred split-station decision.

Instead of a public forum a two week-long exhibition will take place from July 2, to display the seven draft options and explain how the preferred proposal was chosen.

A later consultation will come once the proposal is at a planning application stage, when residents will get a chance to air their views.

Sudbury Steering Group recently selected a preferred option which would see two station ‘hubs’, one based off Girling Street and another off Great Eastern Road.

The confirmation of the exhibition and future consultation came as Suffolk County Council attempts to clear up any confusion over the current plans.

In particular, the council explained that it was not intended for the whole of the Girling Street car park to be used, however a decision has not been taken on total space required or facilities to be provided on the site.

A spokesman for the council said: “The council has undertaken a piece of work to look at alternative options for Sudbury bus station, this work supports Babergh District Council’s aspirations for the regeneration of the Hamilton Road Quarter.

“The options identified in the study were concepts, these were reviewed by the Sudbury Steering Group who identified a preferred option.

“At this time a detailed design has not been carried out so the implications on the parking provision in Girling Street car park is not currently known.”

The spokesman added: “The [steering] group is not a decision making body and will be providing details of all options together with a narrative of the advantages and disadvantages and how it arrived at the preferred option at an exhibition in July.

“This exhibition will support a public consultation on the options, to gauge public views and concerns to be considered alongside further development of this work.”

Steering Group chairman Simon Barrett, insisted the consultation would take place as part of the planning application process and would purely consult on the chosen split-site proposal and not the other six models as suggested by the spokesman.

Sudbury town and Babergh district councillor Jan Osborne defended the steering group’s decision not consult on the various plans.

She said: “We have been criticised for not consulting, we have consulted over and over again and have got nowhere. We are trying desperately as councillors.

“We have been waiting for years and years for things in Sudbury. Not only have we lost money, we are losing the opportunity for any funding that is there.

“I believe we have been elected to get things done.

“With the car parking issue, it’s been going on for years. Over that period of time different options have been put forward. A decision has to be made.

“As long as there is a bus park in Hamilton Road we won’t get any investors. There are no perfect solutions but at least it is a solution.

“At last there is progression, this is so important for Sudbury.”