A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, May 13.
PARKING IS REAL PROBLEM IN ST JOHN’S STREET
RE the ongoing saga of parking in St John’s Street.
I walked up to the market via St John’s Street and still parking is a problem, with cars parked in loading bays opposite the old school, causing vans to park on the pavement, and a car parked outside the Bushel pub in the turning area. I must point out all these are clearly marked with signs.
There were cars parked in loading bays outside the flower shop and one lazy person couldn’t be bothered to walk, so parked fully on the pavement on the corner near Hughes, with a layby empty a few yards further on.
Yet still nothing is done.
People still think it’s their right to park anywhere to save a few pennies.
I am surprised the local businesses down there don’t put their foot down and try to get something done, as it doesn’t look good for their trade.
One of the reasons for moving part of the market was so people can see the shops down St John’s Street, but now all you see is cars in a free street parking facility. Not good to encourage shoppers.
Come on people, you pay your business rates and rent – fight for better treatment.
-- David Flaherty, Bury St Edmunds
OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE ‘THE LINK’
I think deep down we all knew it was signed and sealed before it was announced that the post office was moving to a nearby retail unit – so a sometimes very busy post office is moving to an always very busy WH Smiths, mmmmm, wonder how that will work?
My concern is the fate of the empty ex-post office. No doubt there is a queue of developers and ‘my burger is better than their burger’ outlets waiting to pounce upon this unfortunate building. Surely first class post to second class food is not the right route for this to go.
I have a better idea – the council could put a compulsory purchase order on the property and turn it into the promised, long-awaited link between the old and new parts of Bury, either by removing it or putting a tunnel through it. This would be a great asset and final link joining the two halves of Bury together. Chung Way maybe?
-- J Robinson, via email
HUGE COST OF LEVEL CROSSING FAILURES
I note that the Brandon level crossing gates failed 90 times in little over two years (Bury Free Press, May 6) – make that 91 with today’s further debacle.
One cannot help but wonder if this is a deliberate act by Network Rail who, if the Brandon relief road is ever constructed, want to close these gates, converting the High Street into a cul-de-sac.
If it is not a deliberate act, can we assume that the usual motley crew of engineers (and I use that word very loosely) are in fact people who enjoy dressing up in hi-vis jackets and have no engineering experience or indeed knowledge and just enjoy the ensuing chaos?
Traffic builds up for miles around these gates, people and businesses are inconvenienced and the traffic congestion, fumes and general mayhem are not very environmentally friendly and green.
I have probably been held up for about a third of the occasions, often inconveniencing me getting to and from my place of work. The cost involved either to me personally or my employer is substantial.
If this cost was replicated for the many thousands of lost hours for all those inconvenienced would Network Rail be prepared to recompense us or would the senior executives ignore the claimants whilst they continue to “trouser” their performance bonuses, which often run into tens of thousands each. I think we know the answer to that.
I complained previously on the Network Rail Customer (Dis)Service page and while I felt better, I am still awaiting an answer from more than 12 months ago. Again, I do not live in hope for a reply.
When are Network Rail going to do something about these gates? They used to be manned and there were never any problems.
When the hi-vis brigade attend, often there are eight to 10 wandering about, and I would estimate by the time they travel to Brandon and return to their respective bases, at least half a day per man has been expended and if we assume, on average, five men per occasion, we have now 227.5 man days.
I suppose some high-up suit at Network Rail thinks for them this is cost-effective – try asking those inconvenienced.
-- Christopher Allen, Brandon
TREES ARE BEING LOST EVERYWHERE
It is with great sadness that I know exactly how the people of the Vinefields feel (Letters, April 29/May 6). We here in Fornham St Martin/Genevieve are losing trees at an alarming rate.
First to go was a 150-year-old oak in the junction of Park Avenue. I asked the workmen why it was being removed, as there was no visible problem with it (especially as they have Tree Protection Orders) and was told it had internal mould. There is another along the row with a large patch of external fungus, but the workman told me one tree was due to be cut down and one pared back. Last time there was a tree with visible fungus it was cut down, yet this new one hasn’t yet been touched, not even pared back. I truly believe the wrong tree was taken down. Many residents in the street watched it be cut, most of them upset. These oaks have stood for 150 years and they won’t grow back overnight. Once they’re gone that’s it.
Then there is the redevelopment of the newly named All Saints’ Hotel (even though the address is St Genevieve). Not a day goes by when we don’t hear chainsaws and woodchippers. The rate the woodland is disappearing is terrifying.
I know a few people complain about the rooks that live in this area but they have always been here and it is not only home to them but also deer and many other forms of wildlife. It also acts as a natural sound barrier between the residential areas and any loud music they have with weddings. I’ll be amazed if there is a single tree left in their complex by the time they are done.
It isn’t just a problem here, though; all around Bury trees are being felled with great gusto. As the internet meme says “if only trees gave out free wifi instead of life-giving oxygen”.
Bury St Edmunds is being wrecked. The beauty that brings people to this town and makes it a pleasure to live in is being destroyed. Who needs trees anyway? I guess we will find out when Bury soon becomes another concrete city.
-- L Flaherty, Fornham St Martin
PATRICK DESERVES RECOGNITION
I suspect that the paper will struggle to find enough pages to convey the widespread view that Patrick Chung has been an excellent mayor.
We first met him when he was a popular restaurateur and followed his career with interest.Often we met people who sang his praises for his kindness and commitment as their local councillor.
As mayor he has been tireless and one must include his wife.Week after week his appearances at every sort of event, often of a charitable nature, have been recorded and his love of Bury was repeated many times.
Some more public recognition of his work is richly deserved and one hopes that our local MP can initiate the appropriate action.
-- Brian Perrett, Bury St Edmunds
DAFFODILS AND TREES TARGETED
Why, oh why, is it that every spring we have to tolerate those who find it necessary to destroy the daffodils planted to enhance the Mildenhall Estate?
And now the beautiful cherry blossom has come in for its annual desecration. Not content with pulling the blossom down, it’s deliberately knocked down with sticks.
What is this fascination today for those who perpetrate destruction and can see no beauty in the world around them? Their obvious motto is “Well, it hasn’t any use or interest to me, so let’s destroy it”.
-- Brenda Hudson, Bury St Edmunds
HGV LEVY UNDER ATTACK FROM EU
In 2014, in an attempt to protect British road hauliers, the UK government introduced a modest levy of £10 per day on foreign lorries using UK roads. It was intended to combat the road fund tax which is paid by British HGV firms to use our roads, but not those from elsewhere in the EU.
Now the European Court of Justice is investigating this following complaints that the levy is illegal under EU law and, if the case goes against the UK, is likely to see our government (taxpayers) having to pay back some £93 million, enough to build and staff a medium sized hospital. It would also reduce the amount of revenue we will be getting in the future, not to mention the unfair financial advantages this will bring to foreign HGVs on British roads compared to our own lorry firms.
Once again we see the lack of control our elected government has over our nation while the unelected EU leaders call the tune. We have one chance, on June 23, to do something about it.
-- WE Turner, Barrow
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