READER’ LETTERS: A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of December 20

Traffic lights on the railway bridge on Newmarket Road in Bury.
Traffic lights on the railway bridge on Newmarket Road in Bury.
Have your say


At last, at long last, the one uncongested exit from the A14 into Bury – the one which doesn’t have a queue back to the roundabout to block everything – has been fixed!

Newmarket Road, long the bolt hole of the clearly under-taxed motorist now has a new set of traffic lights and a pointless road narrowing to ensure that queues form, in fact, they can now form in BOTH directions – clearly a stroke of absolute genius. Any lesser person would have undertaken to spend some of the pitifully little road tax, fuel tax, parking charges, insurance tax, special car purchase tax, MoT fees and VAT on repairing the old bridge – it takes a stroke of pure unadulterated genius to ignore the old-fashioned way and cause a traffic jam instead!

-- Dave Hitcham, Red Lodge


I am a resident of Northgate Avenue and and although the new bridge will be clearly visible from my property I did not object to the bridge as I thought it may make life easier for pedestrians and cyclists. I did, however, consider it to be very expensive.

I naively believed that the construction may make the area look tidier and some of the funds would be put towards that purpose. I also believed that some form of fencing may be erected to stop people throwing missiles at passing cars on the A14. After conversing with the Highways Agency I realised I was wrong.

Today I have witnessed the felling of beautiful trees and hedgerows. To the best of my knowledge this aspect of the development was not communicated to the residents at any time. Coupled with the fact that no funding is being put into the improvement of the surrounding area, we are left with an ugly and bleak landscape which has gone ahead without clear communication. I wonder, who initially wanted this bridge? No time will be saved because pedestrians and cyclists still need to join the Fornham Road after crossing the bridge. What purpose does it serve?

-- Name and address supplied


I read with interest the pros and cons of the planned waste transfer station and its location in Bury St Edmunds.

I see the point that several correspondents have made with respect to increased heavy traffic in what is already a busy area and access point to the A14. It is a shame that neither Bury or Great Blakenham share a common railway line with siding facilities.

Or do they?

Maybe not; that would be far too easy for planners to understand.

-- K Widdick, Rattlesden


RE the story about the Nativity at Cygnets Childcare, Great Whelnetham (Bury Free Press, December 13).

I am a parent of a child who goes to the nursery and it is also my child’s first Nativity play and honestly when I found out that we were not allowed to take photos or videos I was gutted, however the school has worked really hard to figure out a way to please everyone and were offering to take photos that we would pay for at a small cost that the proceeds were going to a charity. I also wanted to point out that the staff have worked extremely hard as well as all the children for this special Nativity, the first of its kind as the nursery has not done a play just on its own before and possibly now won’t again. The repercussions of this article now is that there will be no photos and it has had the complete opposite effect that has ruined it for everyone.

I just feel that the story was a negative spin that touched upon money and a parent’s wishes not to allow their children to be photographed, but who are we to judge on what possible circumstances there are behind it? I am sure that the parents had a legitimate reason for it.

The staff do an amazing job and have worked really hard all the way through the year. I am still going to enjoy the Nativity and instead of photos I will take the memories.

-- Name supplied


It saddened me when I read this article. The staff at Cygnets are wonderful and professional people, who have obviously taken all the parents’ considerations into account, not just one individual who could not have her own way. We were not allowed to video in our child’s first Nativity play at the primary school, and we totally respected that.

-- Michelle Cox, via email


Richard Stainer (Letters, December 13) is surprised that I see any value in Ofsted and seeks to diminish Ofsted as an organisation. Shooting the messenger is one way to feel better about bad news, but it doesn’t fixes anything.

Of course, Ofsted judgments are made by people, and people are not perfect. There are bound to be cases where Ofsted inspectors have not been as objective as they, or we, would like. But, crucially, all state schools in England are judged under the same imperfect system.

The withering criticism of Suffolk County Council is that, compared to the Ofsted judgements made across the rest of England, Suffolk schools have not improved enough. It is a criticism based on the county’s relative performance, not its absolute performance. So it doesn’t matter much what Mr Stainer thinks of the quality of Ofsted as a body, unless he has evidence that Ofsted works differently in Suffolk than elsewhere, Ofsted’s criticism remains valid.

As to why England hasn’t moved up the PISA ranking, I’d suggest that has more to do with the perverting effect of chasing targets than anything to do with Ofsted. It is Suffolk County Council’s myopic focus on narrowly defined targets at KS2 and KS4 that leads them to think closing Good and Outstanding schools will improve matters.

-- J H Lee, Bury St Edmunds


Over the past month there have been many letters in support of a University Technical College (UTC) for Bury St Edmunds. This would be a huge benefit to practical learners in the area.

These students tend to find it easier to learn the academic content of their courses if they can apply it to a practical situation. This approach has been one of the strengths of the current system in Bury St Edmunds, where the more practical learner has access to a greater range of facilities that are available in middle schools, from an earlier age.

At a time when this country is desperate for engineers and skilled manual workers with the ability to work hands on, we need to grasp the opportunity of a UTC for this area. We live in a region of highly mechanised industries especially food processing, brewing, agriculture and aerospace, all requiring a consistent supply of well trained young people.

I hope these considerations are taken into account during the SOR process, as now is the time to give all students real choice, as well as developing the skills needed to make them more employable in our increasingly challenging industries.

-- J Salmon, Bury St Edmunds


Am I the only one who, when traipsing around departmental/large stores behind the lady in our lives – choosing a dress, handbag, cosmetics etc – would ‘sell their soul’ for a seat to perch on? Provision is made if you want to buy a pair of shoes, or if you are happy to look like a voyeur outside the ladies changing cubicles, and that’s it. Is it asking too much to have the odd chair available for those of us perhaps not in the prime of our lives, and possibly slightly irascible, who as often as not hasten our ladies out from (usually dress shops) before they have made a choice?

The equation is simple: Customer + chair for partner + allowing time to make choice = sale QED.

-- Brian Davies, Bury St Edmunds


I agree with Karen Cannard asking shops to close their doors (Bury Free Press, December 6) but for us older people with trollies and mothers with prams, it is a problem. To open the door is not easy, but on coming out one is pushed violently in the back as the door closes and pushed out on to the pavement – not funny, I can assure.

-- Elsie Wicks, Bury St Edmunds


On behalf of all at Bury St Edmunds Deaf Centre, we would like to express our thanks to staff at both The arc shopping centre and Asda Bury for allowing to sign our Christmas songs. The support and atmosphere from the public on both occasions was amazing, helping us to raise £800 in The arc and £500 at Asda.

This will be a great help when providing facilities for the deaf and hard of hearing community in our area.

Thanks to all who signed, all who donated and both venues for allowing it to happen.

-- I A Frost, Suffolk Deaf Association


Congratulations to Bury St Edmunds’ Church Walks Charities with Val and Simon.

They have now raised more than £91,000 for local causes.

Next year they are raising more funds for the Citizens Advice Bureau.

-- Brian Cash, Bury St Edmunds

A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, December 20.