Sudbury by-pass remains ‘an aspiration’ despite plan being shelved
A by-pass for Sudbury still remains an “aspiration for the future”, Suffolk County Council has said.
The council (SCC) announced last month that plans to build a bypass would not go ahead due to the cost – between £50million and £70m.
However SCC said the option of a bypass will remain in the county’s Local Transport Plan and the district’s Local Plan as an aspiration for the future.
The council says the Options Assessment Report it commissioned from consultancy firm WSP “clearly sets out” the most cost-effective way of relieving traffic in Sudbury is to move forward with a £10m programme of junction improvements in the town.
Mary Evans, SCC cabinet member for highways, transport and rural issues, said: “The option of a bypass was explored in detail, but the low benefit-cost ratio means that the council would be unable to secure funding for such a project from any of the very competitive national funding opportunities.”
But Jack Owen, Labour spokesman for transport and county councillor for Sudbury, accused the council of “avoiding decisions” to solve traffic issues.
“Once again the Tory-run council has got it wrong,” he said. “It is astonishing that they seem intent on avoiding taking decisions that will resolve the traffic issues in Sudbury.
“This report says that either a short western or southern bypass were the two options that would alleviate the traffic problems in Sudbury and would fulfil the criteria that the county council set themselves.
“So, what do the council decide to do? They are proposing to tinker with junctions, something the report admits will do nothing to decrease the amount of traffic. I am baffled by the logic.”
And Robert Lindsay, Green Party county councillor, said: “The report vindicates what we always said about the costs of a bypass being higher than the benefits.
“But it recommends junction improvements that it admits will do nothing to cut vehicles in Sudbury town centre and is likely to encourage more cars in the town and may worsen air quality.
“We need junctions that prioritise foot and cycle traffic.”