Fewer cars for town centre

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A town centre residents’ group has produced a report calling for radical changes to traffic management in the historic core of Bury St Edmunds.

The Churchgate Area Association has, with the help of Cambridge University research student Elle Ramel, produced its own report into the impact of the 5,900 new homes schemed for Bury in the Vision 2031 plan for St Edmundsbury.

But the group has been told that while their report can be submitted independently in June it will not be part of St Edmundsbury’s package of submissions being made to the Government ;later this year.

The Association’s report deals with town centre traffic management and recommends the Buttermarket is pedestrianised, there should be shared space in the area of Angel Lane, Hatter Street, Whiting Street and Guildhall Street, Angel Hill should become shared space with an underground car park, parking in Bridewell Lane, College Street and part of Whiting Street and Guidlhall Street should be residents’ only parking, a hoppa bus is provided for the town centre, there should be improved cycle lanes and more frequent buses and park and ride sites for the five new developments, and finally more stringent parking enforcement. The report points out that Bury has one of the highest levels of parking per capita compared to similar retail centres. It looked at comparable studies in Durham, Nottingham, York and Cambridge and used feedback from a focus group and open meeting as well as interviews with St Edmundsbury, arc management and Bid4Bury.

Andrew Hinchley, association chairman, said: “There is this argument that towns will thrive only if they grow but surely they will only be interesting for people if they retain a lot of what’s attractive now

rather than have those extra 30 per cent of people helping to destroy what we have now.”

A council spokeswoman said: “Vision 2031 is much wider than just the town centre, for which there will be a more detailed masterplan later. Suffolk County Council is the highways authority responsible for most of the roads in the borough and St Edmundsbury is obviously working very closely with them to ensure Vision 2031 proposals are sustainable and can be delivered.”