An assessment of Sudbury’s current road infrastructure discussion...
Blogs are the individual views of Sudbury Vision members and do not necessarily represent the views of the group or group members.
I read more and more talk regarding the suggestion of a Bypass routing traffic in a westerly direction. Our local MP for Suffolk was waving a Business Case document at the beginning of 2017 in an attempt to raise funds for building it but not as you would think for its foundations, for the laying of drain work, and tarmacking but no, raising funds we are told so that even more consultants can line their pockets by writing a further Business Study and strategic report on top of that which was already written. They will be including the countless other documentation that has been written on the bypass taking in accounts all of the past 30 year or more studies on the subject of which parts there of will also be used to sticky plaster the latest one together.
We are also told that other routes will be considered. Remember our Town was told this in a similar approach to where the Bus Station location was proposed and was to be located. Eventually offering 3 solutions but all including one location - Girling Street! Could the same thing happen to Sudbury's route for its Bypass I wonder - the other routes being in this case 3 similar Western routes altering slightly but without the slightest suggestion of building a Bypass North of our town where future development has already been granted? The Northern Bypass would tackle traffic in directions of Bury St Edmund's the same as a Western one would but send it to and from Colchester in a South Eastern approach by utilizing the A134 A12 connection.
Bypassing is not the only item our Town might require to be considered within its future but Relief is a necessity. With building a Bypass/Relief road this will ultimately lead to infilling with property regardless of what will be said in the short-term but for years to come once built and as population rises will inevitably lead to infilling. You only have to take a look at what has developed in local towns such as Braintree, Bury St Edmund's & Colchester.
The Question we should all be considering is where do we want our infill to go as this will then lead eventually to the Bypass location which we need to use in part to relieve traffic not only flowing into town but taking traffic out and bypassing non-associated traffic thus avoiding entering it?
So do we want infilling South and West to an area from Ballingdon across to Brandon changing the image of Sudbury's natural untouched appearance or North and East from Chilton to the outskirts of Newton and Cornard within ploughed fields?
I still keep an open mind regarding what development will take presidency in Sudbury's future but we should all not be blinded by those with a single agenda.
Solution's are out their and they don't have to cost the earth! A Bypass will take teardrop develop and may not even happen.
Simple road traffic management could be adopted now and doesn't necessarily have to be built before it has been trialled at very little expense.
Some suggestions ...
Current routing of traffic to Stowmarket from within the town is via the one-way system turning left into East Street off of Girling St. onto the B1115 taking heavy goods vehicles along a road that is too narrow for modern day cars let alone HGV's. Some would say OK let's direct the flow further along Girling St. and into Newton Rd? All this is doing is maintaining the current level of traffic within the one-way system for longer. My suggestion is to take this Stowmarket bound traffic along Melford Rd. And onto Bury St Edmund's to pickup the A14 route to Stowmarket. Travel times - exactly the same but further in distance, however less breaking and gear changing which we are told adds to fuel consumption and wear and tear.
While we are on the subject of turning left into East Street from Girling St. let us change this so that emergency of public transport can access this only. This making the first part of this road one-way to other vehicles accessing Girling Street only. Chelsea Rd. and Constitutional Hill could be made restricted access only routes allowing only local access to those that need to get to property and without granting heavier vehicles access.
There has been talk of reintroducing the one-way system into two-way again. My honest opinion is that our streets are too narrow for modern day vehicles and that the one-way should remain.
Without a Bypass the strategic Lorry route should be changed in any case from Braintree, Halstead and into Ballingdon in favour of a South Eastern approach through Newton to Colchester A12. If travelling in a London bound direction this will save you 5 minutes journey at peek times and avoids travelling through Halstead, Braintree, Gt Leighs, Springfield eventually coming out on the A12 at Boreham. The Newton route is slightly longer in distance but quicker as suggested and again without as much breaking, stopping and starting. The favouring Eastern A134 Primary route would alleviate traffic from the heavier Sudbury's Northern and Cornard's residential & industrial parks and cut down on this traffics flow through the town. Restrictions need to be enforced travelling South to Halstead along the A131.
Lorry Park - this existing one really does need to be closed and it's users to be relocated North of the town to Chilton/Springlands Industrial areas. Why have one at all? An example in Halstead's Bluebridge Industrial Estate where HGV's park up over night could be adopted. Toilet and food is located either end at McDonald's & KFC. Bury St Edmund's in any case has a purpose built lorry park just 15 miles away North of Sudbury with purpose built facilities. We still need to be civilized and treat HGV users with respect and maintain them access to facilities.
Summing up ...
These are just a few ideas that could be implemented and on trial at very little cost first through strategically positioned and temporary covering of existing signage to evaluate their worth.
We haven't even got onto Public Transport and Cycle and Walking Route's - all for another talking point of discussion and also as important.
The above accounts are an Independent & personal review produced by Steve Hall (Town Councillor, Sudbury South Ward Dec 2017).