Cost may not bring benefits

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Latest letters from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

I read again in the Free Press of the aspiration for a Sudbury bypass from local councillors and yet they and I know what follows.

Whether or not Sudbury gets a bypass is not simply a matter of the availability of funds to pay for it; the business case for it is not made.

Surveys have shown that a bypass will not dramatically reduce town centre traffic levels. Great cost would not, in reality, bring great benefits.

It is also not solely a decision for Suffolk County Council as part of the route would be in Essex.

Essex County Council would not support the idea because of the subsequent impact on its own road system, particularly with respect to pressure for a Halstead bypass and increased traffic volumes around Braintree and the A120, which are already hugely congested.

A Sudbury bypass together with a Halstead one would lead to the establishment of a new heavy vehicle route out via the A120, round Sudbury, on to Bury St Edmunds and the A14 and then on to Felixstowe.

Neither county council wants this and, in any event, highways officers of both authorities are opposed to a bypass being built.

Personally, what I believe I see when I look out of my shop window is traffic that supports economic activity in Sudbury.

It is healthy for the town even if it makes crossing the roads slower than if it were not there.

That is not to say nothing needs doing and both traffic flows and pollution issues could be addressed by making Friars Street, Church Street and Cross Street one-way. But even this must be part of a holistic solution.

Having contributed to the first local transport consultation event in Sudbury, I am now left lamenting the way it is dealing with individual issues – piecemeal, without having developed an overarching strategy for the town.

I just wish they would fully explore option one which should always be do nothing (for now).

New schemes for Belle Vue roundabout should be developed in light of wider developments such as the hotel, bus station or, better still, a well-located public transport hub.

Thus we need a “big plan” for Sudbury that covers more than just highways issues and more than just one or two specific locations.

A holistic approach is essential for Sudbury’s bright future.

David Holland

King Street