Cynicism as date set to open Relief Road

Rougham Industrial Estate with the new link to the A14 via  Sow Lane in foreground and the Eastern Relief Road running from the roundabout on the right
Picture: Suffolk County Council
Rougham Industrial Estate with the new link to the A14 via Sow Lane in foreground and the Eastern Relief Road running from the roundabout on the right Picture: Suffolk County Council
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Bury St Edmunds’ Eastern Relief Road should open to the public on September 25, though people affected by the work are not convinced.

Suffolk County Council and its contractor Breheney say the relief road will open from Skyliner Way to Sow Lane, with access to Rougham Industrial Estate, that afternoon while Sow Lane will ‘open in its entirety on or before Monday 25th September’.

The Bury St Edmunds Eastern Relief Road with the Sybil Andrews Academy in the foreground and Rougham Industrial Estate in the distance
Picture: Suffolk County Council

The Bury St Edmunds Eastern Relief Road with the Sybil Andrews Academy in the foreground and Rougham Industrial Estate in the distance Picture: Suffolk County Council

However, they go on to say that will enable them to close General Castle Way for the final phase of the works, though a date for that has not been fixed.

The opening was held up after work on the Sow Lane roundabout was delayed because the county did not own the land it needed. Rougham Industrial Traders said last month that kerbs on one side of the road were on land it owned. The other side was under different ownership.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said of the land wrangle on Wednesday: “All matters in respect of the claim have been settled between the parties.”

It should mean the end of 18 months of problems for residents in Sow Lane and businesses on the industrial estate, where Thomas Ridley Foodservice estimates the work raised its transport costs by £200,000, but the news was greeted with cynicism.

Christine Wright, of Sow Lane, said: “They’ve told us two or three different dates so you can’t rely on any of them. We’ve put up with this for over a year but the feeling you get is that we’re just noise in the background to them.”

She is also angry that owing to an oversight by the county, land owners have profited by demanding high prices for the extra land, but residents have been told they will get no compensation for the disturbance they have suffered and claimed damage to property.