Traffic and safety fears over West Suffolk Operational Hub proposal

West Suffolk Operational Hub plans
West Suffolk Operational Hub plans

Increased traffic as a result of the proposed West Suffolk Operational Hub (WSOH) will put lives at risk, claim residents.

Around 100 people have formally objected to West Suffolk and Suffolk County Councils’ planning application for a combined waste transfer station, Household Waste Recycling Centre and depot on a site at Hollow Road Farm, in Fornham St Martin.

Traffic congestion and safety are among people’s biggest complaints, with many concerned about the effect additional hub traffic will have on an ‘already dangerous’ roundabout at the A143 Fornham Road junction on Barton Hill which will, under current plans, remain unchanged.

In their objection, Sue and Terry Palfrey, of Fornham St Martin, said: “According to your traffic plan virtually all traffic will have to negotiate the Barton Hill roundabout to either arrive at or leave the proposed hub. This roundabout is already a dangerous place with current levels of traffic.”

Villager Simon Kitching said: “This particular roundabout is often approached from all directions by vehicles travelling too fast and there is often damage to the roundabout where vehicles have literally driven through it.”

His neighbour, Mrs Churchard, said there was a blind spot at the roundabout for anyone trying to pull out of Barton Hill and, with traffic about to get worse, ‘it’s an accident waiting to happen’.

Mr Blythe, also of Fornham St Martin, said: “Several accidents have happened on the A134 roundabout at the top of Barton Hill due to the speed of traffic mainly approaching form the Thetford and Compiegne Way directions.”

He has also objected to locating a waste transfer station so close to residential areas because of the ‘very high fire risk’ associated with it.

Some residents have also taken issue with a planned cycle/pedestrian access to the site claiming it is unlikely to be used and fails to address crossing the Fornham bypass.

Michael Collier, of Fornham St Genevieve, has referred to it as ‘absurd’, adding: “Do the planners seriously believe residents will want to transport their waste on foot and take their life in their hands crossing a dual-carriageway with a 70mph limit.”

In their objection, John and Marilyn Sayer, of Fornham St Martin, cited the path with no pedestrian crossing over the bypass as an example of ‘total disregard for health and safety’ saying they ‘look forward to a demonstration of how to cross this dual-carriageway when the facility is in operation’.

Residents have until Wednesday (May 3) to submit comments. Visit the planning portal at www.stedmundsbury.gov.uk.