Concerns over new Eastern Relief Road route from Moreton Hall to the A14

The new route of the Eastern Relief Road which runs further north of the Rougham Industrial Estate ANL-140508-160419001
The new route of the Eastern Relief Road which runs further north of the Rougham Industrial Estate ANL-140508-160419001
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Plans to alter the route of the Eastern Relief Road between Moreton Hall and the A14 have come under fire days before councillors were due to decide on the scheme.

The Development Control Committee meets tomorrow to discuss the amendment to the Relief Road route but a number of objections had been received.

The Rougham Industrial Traders association has objected to the plan which takes the road round the estate on a more northerly route.

They are worried this will encourage people to use the estate as a rat run, driving through General Castle Way rather than the road itself.

There are also concerns that cyclists will have to dismount at one section of the road at Sow Lane and push their bikes in the road facing oncoming traffic.

Nick Challacombe who lives in East Barton said: “More than a thousand people work on the industrial estate and many of them cycle to work. Once this road goes in there is going to be a heck of a lot more traffic. This needs to be stopped before someone gets killed.”He added: “There was nothing wrong with the original scheme which was passed in December.

David Salvage from East Barton and is a cyclist said: “It appears that the rush to get this scheme underway seems to have taken priority over building in longer term safety for all users of the road and the interests of adjacent residents.

“As a regular cyclist around the area it’s clear to me that cycling is definitely on the increase. The amendment appears to knowingly mix pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles on what will intentionally be an increasingly busy Sow Lane. This is unsafe and should be rethought.

“I feel for the residents along Sow Lane. I am amazed that the proposed roundabout on Sow Lane is to be located virtually opposite and adjacent to the only domestic dwellings on the lane. Since the roundabout will be there for all time, it beggars belief that planners, developers and landowners cannot agree a route that would move the roundabout further South, towards the A14, and further from the residents.

“The phrase ‘right first time’ springs to mind and there is still time to get it right. Perhaps some heads need knocking together.”

A letter from Thomas Ridley on the industrial estate says the new route has the potential for diverting traffic through the estate and the section of footway/cycleway having to use the road along part of Sow Lane is unacceptable on safety grounds.

Rougham Parish Council has also written saying that while it approved the ammended plan it would want to pursue safety issues in Mount Road and Sow Lane.

However in a report to councillors planning officer Peter White states that cyclists will only have to dismount for 35 metres of route which is two kilometres long.

The report states: “The proposed route and its new alignment are considered by officers to be acceptable regardless of the alignment of the route being different from that shown in the adopted Masterplan.”

The road is part of the infrastructure needed to bring 500 homes and an expansion to the Suffolk Business Park on the eastern side of the town and forms part of St Edmundsbury’s Vision 2031.