Roads disruption as Northgate and Tayfen works start

Tayfen Road, Bury St Edmunds
Tayfen Road, Bury St Edmunds

A council has come under fire for its handling of roads projects in Bury St Edmunds.

Roadworks started in the Tayfen Road/Northgate roundabout area today, despite calls for a second public consultation and revision of the project.

Suffolk County Council says its 16-week scheme is aimed at improving facilities for pedestrians and cyclists. A crossing will be installed, foot and cycle paths widened and the Compiegne Way approach to Northgate widened to two lanes.

But councillors Paul Hopfensperger and David Nettleton have criticised the council after, they say, it ignored their reservations.

County, borough and town councillor Nettleton labelled last summer’s consultation ‘flawed’, saying it offered a ‘Hobson’s Choice’ of keeping the status quo or installing four sets of traffic lights at the Beerhouse roundabout. The four traffic lights plan is no longer going ahead, the council announced last week.

He said the council’s final plans were a ‘superficial solution which will come back to haunt it’.

“The council is spending a lot of public money to do this and I don’t think it is spending it wisely,” he added.

Cllr Hopfensperger also criticised the ‘Mickey Mouse consultation’ and accused the council of forging ahead without listening.

“Councillors are elected to represent the people and council officers are there to advise councillors and not dictate policy. I feel some are telling us what they are going to do and not listening to the councillors who were elected.”

But Jane Storey, deputy leader at the council, said they had reviewed their original proposals in light of potential developments associated with the Bury St Edmunds Masterplan. In the meantime, the current improvements would ‘increase vehicle capacity, create more efficient traffic movement around the roundabout and provide improved pedestrian and cyclist facilities’.

“It therefore seems prudent at this point to review the proposal for the removal of the Tayfen Road/Ipswich Street/Station Hill roundabout until the new traffic flows and demands for the area are understood,” she said.