Concerns for highways work after takeover

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CONCERNS have been raised over the lack of highways maintenance in a town since responsibilities were transferred to Suffolk County Council.

County, borough and town councillors have highlighted numerous examples where pledged improvements have not been completed after the authority took on Highways Agency status for central Bury St Edmunds and Moreton Hall.

The maintenance work was previously overseen by St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

County councillor Mark Ereira-Guyer, who represents the Tower division, said: “The first six months of 2011/12 are noticeable in the extent of inactivity, paper shuffling and lack of clarity around lines of responsibility.”

He cited cases where resident parking schemes have not been pursued and a safety improvement initiative to extend residents’ parking in King’s Road not actioned.

Cllr Ereira-Guyer added: “There are even problems with routine refreshing of yellow lines which exacerbates road and pedestrian dangers.”

Cllr Trevor Beckwith, of the Eastgate and Moreton Hall division, said: “It’s as if the sun has gone out and we can’t get anything done.”

He noted half complete resurfacing work in Symonds Road and the need for pedestrian crossings in Cotton Lane and Bedingfeld Way.

Abbeygate borough and town councillor Paul Farmer echoed the call for more parking opportunities for King’s Road residents and Risbygate borough councillor David Nettleton added: “There’s lots of things that need doing to stop the place looking a bit untidy.”

Cllr Guy McGregor, the county’s portfolio holder for roads, said there had been a restructuring of the organisation including redundancies and a Western Area Highways Manager was recently appointed. He added: “I’m convinced that any perception of neglect will soon be rapidly overturned.”