Town centre road set to close for six weeks

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A stretch of Church Street in Sudbury is to be closed to traffic for six weeks during the school summer holidays to bury power cables.

UK Power Networks is to shut the road at its junction with Cross Street and Friars Street from the end of July.

A total of 14 poles are being taken down, and 600 metres of cabling laid under the road. Residents are being given access to their homes during the work.

The company says the £200,000 project has come about as a direct result of power cuts suffered by residents in the past, and the work will ensure a more consistent power supply for them in the future.

About 70 homes will be affected by the closure with traffic being rerouted from Friars Street into Plough Lane, Stour Street and on to the town’s one-way system.

Traffic coming from Ballingdon Street into Sudbury will not be able to turn right into Church Street.

Friars Street resident Patrick Crew, who is worried about traffic problems, said: “Church Street makes sense as the corner pole has been hit on numerous occasions and has caused power cuts for the bottom end of town.

“I doubt Cross Street residents will be happy at the prospect of Church Street being closed as it essentially means Friars Street will be closed as well, with Cross Street carrying all the two-way traffic.

“The irony is that Cross Street residents will be up in arms as that street has a pinch point as well.”

UK Power Networks spokeswoman Jessica Gallagher said: “The project is to replace low-voltage overhead power lines with underground cables.

“It is vital to maintain the reliability of the network for customers in the area, and it will also improve the look of the street once the overhead cables are removed.

“With every project we carry out, we aim to minimise disruption for all residents and business owners, and have worked closely with the local authority to agree road closures.

“It was decided to carry out the work during the school holidays to avoid any inconvenience to the nearby school.”

The company said that, for safety reasons, the road had to be closed.

She added: “Our engineers did consider placing the cables underneath the pavements so that the road could remain open.

“However, this could cause damage to the foundations of the listed buildings along the street, so working in the road was the only option.

“We understand this work is likely to cause some inconvenience to our customers and apologise for any disruption. The work is vital to enable us to provide a reliable electricity supply to our customers now and in the future.”

A Suffolk County Council spokeswoman confirmed diverted traffic will use Plough Lane and Cross Street while the work is being carried out. A finish date has not been given.