A selection of readers’ lettrs from the Bury Free Press of Friday, January 17.
CONDITION OF ROAD IS GETTING WORSE
It is frustrating to drive along the A134 to Sicklesmere and witness the continued deterioration of a road surface which has been classed as ‘stable’ when evidence to the contrary is plain to both see and experience. The footpath that runs alongside the road is strewn with road chippings which have obviously become detached from the road surface, while the level of undulations and vibrations experienced by drivers appears to increase on a daily basis. Many drivers now prefer to drive close to, if not in the centre of the road to avoid the experience.
For whatever reason the surface failed to adhere correctly, there is a continued strong opinion that the surface should have been completely removed by planing at the time and replaced to an acceptable standard, rather than allowing the contractor to ‘repair’ it. If that meant other work would have to be delayed then so be it. If that caused the contractor to pay penalty costs for over running, then is it not fair that contractors should ‘pay the price’ of their mistakes rather than the unsuspecting over-taxed motoring constituents of Suffolk, some of whom have had to bear the repair costs of damage to their vehicles which they believe to be directly attributed to the current condition of the road surface.
Suffolk County Council has stated that the road will be sorted out in the ‘new season’, which is rapidly approaching – we were told that the road cannot be resurfaced as the season for such work has closed). That statement has also infuriated people, who pointed out that if that were the case, then the resurfacing work that recently took place in December along Out Risbygate Street should never have happened, but as it did, why hasn’t the A134 been fixed?
Perhaps Suffolk County Council would now care to commit to a date by which we can expect this work completed rather than keep us guessing.
-- Peter Royce, Great Whelnetham
LET’S HOPE COUNTY SEES SENSE
It was sad to read of the misunderstandings shown by Simon Harding (Letters, January 3) around the issue of placing a waste transfer station on Rougham Hill, misunderstandings regrettably shared by many residents, through Suffolk County Council’s woefully inadequate publicising and explanation of their plan. The waste transfer station is not, as Mr Harding suggests, simply a place to move on the dry recyclables already efficiently dealt with at the Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) on Rougham Hill. It is rather the place where all the grey bin/kitchen waste (95,000 tonnes per year) from across West Suffolk and much of the area’s hazardous waste will be brought to be emptied from the existing dustbin lorries and put on to larger lorries to take on to Great Blakenham for the ‘energy from waste’ project.
Other factors, which Mr Harding is unaware of or has chosen to ignore include:
– The 630 additional HGV movements per week to and from the proposed station will include many which will have to use the Rougham Hill to Southgate link road.
– Building the waste transfer station will necessitate cutting the size and capacity of the existing excellent HWRC by almost 50 per cent, when our town is planned to grow by 15,000 residents in the next two decades.
– St Edmundsbury Borough Council has plans to move the lorry park, mentioned by Mr Harding, to help enhance the area as it becomes home to 1,250 new houses.
– All other waste transfer stations in East Anglia have been built in industrial zones or on out of town/former farm sites.
– The opponents of the plan, accused of ‘factless scaremongering’ include both Bury Town and St Edmundsbury Borough Council (unanimously), Bury Society, Suffolk Preservation Society and scores of other local citizens, who are not opposed to the principle of such stations and the ‘energy from waste’ concept, but are opposed to placing it on Rougham Hill.
It is hoped that Suffolk County Council will now see sense and accept one of the two alternative sites researched and recommended by our borough officers.
-- Adrian Williams, Byfield Way, Bury St Edmunds
NOT ALL TREES WILL BE REPLACED
Unfortunately, David Nettleton’s letter (Bury Free Press, January 3) claiming that there will be a replacement planting programme after the new cycle bridge at Northgate Avenue is built was somewhat misleading.
Although there will be some replanting on the far side of the new bridge, there will be minimal replanting/landscaping on the Northgate side as consideration of the submitted plans makes clear. When residents of Northgate Avenue were notified of this application, as ward member and a resident of Northgate Avenue, I strongly objected to this and I know that several other residents did likewise. I consider that the removal of a mature and beautiful tree at the end of the avenue was unnecessary – with a little more thought and care it could have been retained – and the decision not to replace the group of young trees and bushes (dismissed as unimportant) a disgrace. Together, they not only enhanced the street scene but also went some way to mitigating the ever-increasing noise levels from the A14. In my objection I also asked why no consideration at all had been given to installing sound barriers at the same time. Sadly, such joined up thinking is all too rare at the county council.
I welcome the new bridge; as a cyclist it will make getting into town much more pleasant. There are, of course, questions to be asked as to whether this is the best use of such a large sum of money if the object is to make cycling safer. However, the failure of the council to take into account the views and needs of the immediate neighbours is yet another example of the county council ignoring the wishes of the residents of Bury St Edmunds.
-- Cllr Julia Wakelam, Bury St Edmunds
THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY
On behalf of the Rotary Club of Bury St Edmunds may I use your letters page to thank all those who made our Christmas collections this year so successful, raising nearly £3,500. First, of course, are the people of Bury and its surrounding villages who gave so generously and in such a friendly and good spirited manner. This was either at the entrances to the major supermarkets or at their own doorways as Santa did his annual progression through the streets. Also I would like to thank our supermarkets for their willingness to collect on their premises at such a busy time and for the friendly help we received whilst there. All the money raised is used to support local charities and individuals with exceptional needs.
-- Paul Rossi, President, Rotary Club of Bury St Edmunds
NOW’S THE TIME FOR SMARTER PLANNING
RE A Personal View by Camille Berriman, Bury Free Press, January 10. I grew up in Troston butI’ve been living in New Zealand for the last nine years, with the past five spent in Christchurch. I work as a transport planner and economist and face some interesting challenges as the city is rebuilt following the 2011 earthquakes which have given the city the opportunity to rethink its infrastructure balance with regards to roads, public transport and active modes (walking and cycling). I’ve been back in the UK visiting family over Christmas and and am interested by Camille’s view. All the international literature is quite clear on induced traffic impacts of road building so it’s interesting to see Camille’s piece. If you make driving easier (by adding more roads, more capacity etc), more people will drive. This means that instead of having a traffic jam with 2,000 people sitting in it in the morning peak, you’ll just have one with 4,000 people, and you can only take up so much valuable land with roads and car parks. With all of the new developments, there are great opportunities to facilitate people walking, cycling and taking public transport through smart planning. As Camille notes, you only need to facilitate a small percentage (typically 10 per cent) shift off the roads on to other modes, and the existing capacity is completely adequate.
You cannot build your way out of congestion, you simply shift the bottleneck. Bury may not be of a size yet where you don’t see relatively long-term relief from road building, giving the appearance of a good solution, but now is the time for smarter planning based around the facilitation of moving people rather than cars.
I always enjoy coming back to Suffolk to see my family, and it would be great to be able to see a more sustainable town (environmentally, socially and economically) when I next visit.
-- Dr Darren Fiddler, Christchurch, New Zealand