Chairman’s anger at ‘being kept in dark’ about road changes in Bury St Edmunds

Ernie Broom with Cllr David Nettleton
Ernie Broom with Cllr David Nettleton
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The chairman of a residents’ group says he is ‘angry’ at being ‘left in limbo’ over proposed changes to roads in Bury St Edmunds – despite the promise of answers more than a year ago.

Last October, Cllr Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for roads, transport and planning, was criticised for failing to answer residents’ concerns about traffic problems in North West Bury, where a further 900-1,070 new homes are to be built.

He came under fire at a public meeting organised by the Howard Estate Association of Residents and Tenants (Heart), where he vowed to get answers to the chairman, Ernie Broom.

“He said he’d let me know within two weeks – he shook my hand but he’s never come back to me,” said Mr Broom.

Residents’ concerns include not knowing where roads connecting the estate with the new development are going to go or how traffic congestion, particularly in the Tollgate and Newmarket Road areas, will be addressed, with many critical of the proposed ‘Tollgate Gyratory’.

Of the proposed scheme, Mr Broom said: “You cannot move the River Lark, the Tollgate pub, the railway bridge or Tesco. Therefore, adding 1,000 plus vehicles is going to mean a traffic jam of Third World proportions.”

He added: “I personally get very angry when we call a meeting – it cost us to arrange that meeting and it was packed – and the officers turn up and have no answers.

“The impression we get is that it’s a done deal – it’s going ahead anyway but they have to have a ‘consultation’.”

Cllr David Nettleton said Cllr Newman admitted having ‘done nothing’ in July, but had agreed to a site meeting with him in five weeks’ time to look at problems around the Tollgate junction.

“I think if promises are made, they should be kept, otherwise you lose credibility,” he added.

Cllr Newman said he had pledged to provide answers ‘as soon as possible’ and added that a ‘satisfactory agreement’ had only recently been reached with the developer to fund the ‘necessary infrastructure’.