Has anything changed?

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Latest letters from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

In response to Simon Barrett’s letter “We are aware of problems”. A few questions, Simon.

What is this preparatory work and is there a time scale? (It’s the A131 actually).

Since other bypass bids in Suffolk have floundered on the criteria of economic viability and environmental impact, why should this one be successful?

Has a survey of traffic using the A131 in each direction been undertaken or will it be? Presumably, heavy goods traffic is the concern, whether generated by the town or just passing through.

The latter seems to be increasing – is it? From Felixstowe? Why? How will town-generated traffic enter/leave it if not by Cross Street/Friars Street? Will through traffic use the bypass, particularly if travelling via the A131 to the east?

What is the longer timescale? What do we do now? And will what we do now be equally effective in the future if this latest bid also fails?

Bypasses tend to define the outer boundaries of a town. Given this bypass route is on the town’s sensitive and beautiful edge, will bypass-generated development be prevented?

I am thinking of the developer-attractive slope of Ballingdon Hill; the Bulmer Road industrial estate which could have a convenient out-of-town access and could therefore be expanded; traffic-related development around the enlarged A131/A134 intersection.

This is the strategic economic plan after all. The danger is that we give the natural environment a monetary value which encourages central and local government to do an economic trade-off and justify damage to our natural heritage.

And are other options in the frame? Why this side of town? Will there be cross-border consultation?

Most of the heavy traffic which travels along the A131 also passes through Halstead. Might the A120 and the A12 be part of a better solution?

Stephen Thorpe

Friars Street