Iconic statue could be moved in £10 million highway plans

The St Edmund statue could be removed from the roundabout and located elsewhere as part of roadwork plans for Vision 2031
The St Edmund statue could be removed from the roundabout and located elsewhere as part of roadwork plans for Vision 2031

An iconic statue of St Edmund on a busy town centre roundabout could be relocated as part of £10 million highway improvement plans.

The statue may be removed from the Parkway/Risbygate Street roundabout in Bury St Edmunds under proposals to install a signal controlled crossroads - drawn up by consultants who assessed the impact of future housing development in the borough over the next 20 years.

Commissioned by St Edmundsbury Borough and Suffolk County Councils, AECOM examined potential traffic calming solutions for four A14 junctions and seven roundabouts.

It follows plans to build about 5,900 homes across five sites in Bury as part of the borough council’s Vision 2031 blueprint.

Simon Pott, chairman of Bury in Bloom, which installed the statue, said the figure was ‘carefully chosen for the site’ and they would be ‘anxious not to see that good work reduced’.

He said: “It seems to me the roundabout system for Parkway works reasonably well except where it’s interrupted by pedestrian crossings.

“I’m concerned traffic lights might prove to be more of a concern than an answer. If it’s necessary to move St Edmund to a better and more prominent position we will be happy to work with the borough and county councils to that end.”

The other affected roundabouts include Newmarket Road/Westley Road, Compiegne Way/Tayfen Road, Parkway/Westgate, Rougham Road/Rougham Hill, Southgate Green and Cullum Road/Nowton Road/Wilks Road.

A letter from the county council to the borough council said the cost of the plans, excluding A14 junction 45, would be ‘in the order of £10 million’. It added: “However, it is not reasonable to assume that these improvements will result in nil detriment to the highway network within Bury.”

A spokeswoman for the borough council said the report shows ‘there are potential options for providing the infrastructure required to support development’.