Draft document to deal with future traffic gridlock as town expands

Traffic on Rougham road ENGANL00120131010091236

Traffic on Rougham road ENGANL00120131010091236

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A draft document to deal with future traffic gridlock as Bury expands is currently being drawn up by county hall bosses.

But some councillors remain sceptical that Bury can cope with more homes and cars.County and borough councillors in the town have called for a cohesive travel plan for Bury as Vision 2031 and a further 5,900 homes becomes a reality.

Work on the project, discussions and feedback so far have been pulled into a draft document which will be discussed at cabinet level at St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Suffolk County Council in August.

While not specifically a travel plan, it will be a working document and examine options and opportunities which could be considered by the borough and developers to improve traffic flow.

On Tuesday a meeting of the Our Place forum will also look at travel issues for the town.

Borough and County Councillor Sarah Stamp said: “I remain absolutely committed to making sure that we ensure we have the appropriate infrastructure in place as our town grows and that the county council works closely with St Edmundsbury and the developers to plan holistically for the challenges across the whole town rather than adopt a piece meal approach. I am pleased that SCC Officers are seeking views of elected county councillors in the town on the specific challenges in our divisions and look forward to seeing this pulled into a cohesive travel plan in due course.”

County and borough councillor David Nettleton said: “The real problem in Bury is there are more cars in the road network at the present time than there is space. Obviously we need congestion charging why don’t people pay £1.50 to go through the town. It’s what they pay on the buses.”

County councillor Trevor Beckwith added: “It’s going to get worse. It’s bad now, you’ve only got to try and get off Moreton Hall or the central interchange. There’s a lot of traffic trying to get into the town.

“I have no confidence they will be doing anything that will make this work. They will fiddle around making token gestures and it will only get worse.”

County councillor Mark Ereira said: “Nothing has progressed. Eighteen months ago we said we needed a sustainable travel plan as this development will ensure gridlock. Any solution will be very very difficult to find.”

Borough councillor Paul Hopfensperger said: “The county council deal with each application on a case-to-case basis and all this does is move the problem.”