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Letters & Opinion, Bury Free Press, February 15, 2019

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So there we have it, in last week’s Bury Free Press: “St John’s Street, a wonderland of independent and small shops”. As someone who lives a couple of minutes away, may I be allowed to give my impressions of the street? Look at the photo that accompanies the article: cars nose-to-tail, sprawled across the pavements andin the loading bays. All illegally parked but with impunity because the days of traffic wardens ticketing vehicles like this are just fond memories. I now find it more convenient to walk down the centre of the road, to avoid the treachery of perilous, see-sawing broken paving slabs, but if I was really adventurous I could play hopscotch in an attempt to bypass the dog excrement often loitering underfoot. Advance further to St John’s Church, a fine, imposing beacon of hope, and stay awhile at the front and back entrances, to observe increasingly blatant daytime drug dealing. Teenage boys on bikes will appear from nowhere and hand over their packages to waiting users. It’s now commonplace in a town like Bury St Edmunds, but when ever do we see an actual police presence on the streets? Just one more consequence of the cuts that Tim Passmore assured us would have no effect on crime! Sadly, a once fine and proud town is looking neglected and tawdry. Mr Peters, your paper should be highlighting these things and holding those responsible in authority to account.

Keith Chapman

Bury St Edmunds


I don’t know what the circulation figures are for the Bury Free Press, but wouldn’t it be a good idea for every household in Bury to have a copy of last week’s issue, if only for everyone to be able to read and perhaps act upon the editor (Barry Peters’) case for our supporting the High Street, with “Love Local” as the keyword?

We in Bury are very fortunate to have such awide diversity of independent shops, but without our support we could lose our – almost unique – range of shops, which,once shut, are unlikely to reopen.

It’s a pity the photograph of St John’s Street chosen to illustrate the article had to be festooned with motor cars, as without doubt this

attractive avenue of independent shops would look much more interesting and inviting without cars lining both sides of the street. Might I suggest that a few thousand copies of this article be run off, with perhaps a map overleaf showing all the places of interest, to give (free of charge) to tourists and locals alike, and available at any shop willing to participate.

Brian Davies

Bury St Edmunds


A recent trip to the hospital for a 9.15am appointment took exactly 30 minutes from Moreton Hall to the hospital car park, most of the time spent stationary.

The queue of cars stretched, mostly in two lanes, from Sainsbury’s goods entrance to Southgate Green roundabout.

Three roundabouts, a set of traffic lights and a completely ignored box junction, all absolutely solid.

And now plans are approved for 500 extra homes on Moreton Hall, 850 at Thurston and many more elsewhere to the north east of the town. Result? Potential total chaos!

The new alternative eastern relief road, largely unused at present, will take Bury-bound traffic in the wrong direction out to Rougham, from where much will then arrive back at Junction 44 (Sainsbury’s) to join the congestion already there.

Also, it is odd to now read that a new ambulance hub is planned on Suffolk Business Park, one of the reasons given for this location being “easy access to the A14”.

Possibly so, but no access at all into Bury between 8am and 9am!

And the solution? Better roads or fewer new houses. Councillors – you decide!

John Parsons

Bury St Edmunds

Do you know where this leads? Pathway over the river in the Abbey Gardens. See Circular walk is Bury’s best kept secret
Do you know where this leads? Pathway over the river in the Abbey Gardens. See Circular walk is Bury’s best kept secret


What a shame there is no signage at all in the Abbey Gardens telling visitors about a pleasant short circular walk. I have been asked several times by tourists and day visitors, where the path leading over the river bridge to the east goes to.

Fortunately, I was able to tell them if they cross the bridge and keep turning right, they will enjoy a short 20-minute circular walk along the river, taking in two bridges, a tree-lined drive through the old graveyard, some monumental buildings, houses built into the Abbey ruins and the Cathedral.

And all within a stone’s throw, but missed by thousands of visitors due to lack of signs.

Mrs P Harber

Bury St Edmunds


Gary Quilter, the parks and open spaces manager, headed his two letters to residents of Fornham Road dated February 8 with the

words River Lark Path Extension. To call this proposed path an “extension” is misleading. Coming over the stile at the northern end of the Ram Meadow path, a walker needs to cross the busy Compiègne Way and head for Out Northgate. There is nowhere else to go. After the rail bridge, Out Northgate becomes Fornham Road. The entrance to the proposed path is just north of the road bridge, a distance of around half a mile from the stile in Ram Meadow. Why not just continue another half mile, turning right at Tollgate Green towards the Lark to re-join the path heading out of town? I have a few questions:

Why has no ecological impact survey been conducted and published before the clearing of vegetation started? Isn’t this putting the cart before the horse? Although a local consultation is planned on the Rights of Way order, why no

consultation on the principle of the scheme itself? Will the monitoring officer’s advice to Mr Parker that he can override the constitution be published? Is planning permission required? Was Rachel Almond [West Suffolk council officer] made aware of the proposed riverside path? Of the 15 residents who responded to my consultation letter, only 1 supported the scheme. The rest were opposed in varying degrees of anger. That’s over 90 per cent against. Do they intend to plough on regardless of local opinion?

How much expenditure has the borough council incurred on this scheme to date? Who authorised this? What consideration is due in total to British Sugar under the

terms of the lease? A ransom strip of land near Barton Hill waspurchased, funded by Mark Ereira-Guyer – presumably from his county council locality budget before his defeat in May,2017. Is this correct? The other funder was Simon Harding of Church Walk Charities. Has the council ever audited the accounts of this charity? How much money was involved in this purchase? Has any money been set aside to compensate residents whose back gardens would be exposed if the public gains access to the proposed path? Will the path be closed and the gates locked or will it be open 24/7? Do the desires of a special interest group take precedence over the needs of my electors and other residents living on the eastern side of Bell Meadow, Fornham Road and Mermaid Close?

David Nettleton

Independent county councillor


Now that the herbage has died back along the verges and banks of the A14, all is revealed of the state of our nation under the present administration: Rubbish. Flotsam and jetsam of every description from vehicles, accident debris proliferates and abandoned traffic cones and temporary road signs in abundance, left over by shoddy road contractors. It is, at the least, three years since any attempt to cleanse it was made. Road taxes are collected and appear to go into a central government pot, wasted on vanity projects or Conservative Party donators’ interests, certainly not returned to the local authorities in need of it. In Suffolk, the local authorities adhere to this policy in their misguided loyalty to a political dogma that is causing societal and environmental degradation. Just open your eyes to the mess along the A14; it takes some ignoring even if one is concentrating on driving. Any attempt to bring this state of affairs to the attention of those responsible is blatantly ignored, responded to with platitudes or just plain lies as to why highway cleansing isn’t, or can’t, be done. Yet another example of Conservative or conservative values.

Malcolm Searle

Bury St Edmunds


This town has become devoid of green space. This is due to the amount of building work going on, either new build or renovation of existing property. It is becoming a concrete jungle. The infrastructure is suffering, that is without a decent transport system. When they have built all these properties there will be nowhere where people can walk, only pavements. I wonder how many other people think the same.

John Worsley

Via email


Has anti-EU John Shayer (Letters & Opinion, February 8) not landed himself with a problem? He dislikes paying UK taxes on his cigarettes, so takes an annual coach trip to Belgium for cheaper supplies. Perhaps he should consider how easy such cross-channel trips will be post-Brexit, with roads to the ports jammed with lorries? As a 71-year-old lifelong non-smoker, I hope those he meets “take control” and ask him not to smoke in their presence. He would of course agree, thereby respecting their choice.

Jill Mortiboys


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