Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 16°C

Search

Bury St Edmunds: Anger at decision to snub town’s cycling initiative

PUBLISHED: 09:46 12 July 2014

Archant

The decision to turn down almost £1 million of funding to boost cycling in Bury St Edmunds has been branded “absolutely appalling” by one county councillor.

The Department for Transport (DfT) this week rejected the bid from Suffolk County Council for funding from its local sustainable transport fund.

The DfT’s £800,000 contribution would have funded initiatives at schools and local businesses to get people cycling, with similar programmes seeing big improvements in cycling across Ipswich and Lowestoft in recent years.

Bury’s Green Party county councillor, Mark Ereira-Guyer, said: “My fury about it is a lot of work has gone into a really sound proposal, to come up with a sustainable plan for the town that links in schools, businesses and the college.

“For the Government to basically refuse to support that I think is absolutely appalling. It’s west Suffolk being let down, and Bury St Edmunds in particular.”

The scheme had the backing of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and social housing providers, Havebury.

The county council’s bid had targeted a 10% increase in cycling, while reducing car journeys across the town by 15% could have saved more than £1m on things such as repairs and infrastructure, as well as indirect savings on noise and air pollution.

The DfT awarded funding to 44 projects across the country, and a spokesman said: “The quality of bids we received was high, but this was a competitive bidding process and not all schemes were funded.”

Independent county and borough council David Nettleton, who has been a driving force in improving sustainable transport around the town, said he has urged council officers to draft a plan for the scheme anyway and see if funding can be found elsewhere.

“What we need to be doing is doing our utmost to deliver a sustainable travel plan for the present and future,” Mr Nettleton said.

“Obviously with 5,000 new homes coming in the next 20 years, we need to move people in, out and around Bury so they’re not caught in congestion.

“What we don’t need to do is say ‘oh, it’s the Government again’ –that’s not my view on how to deal with any issue. Funding isn’t unlimited from central Government.

“I’m disappointed, but it doesn’t stop me being optimistic.”

Government has invested £1m towards the cycle bridge over the A14 linking Northgate Avenue to Thingoe Hill.

A spokesman from the county council said: “We are disappointed that we have not achieved a successful bid, however we will continue to work with the local businesses, schools and colleges to encourage sustainable travel in Bury with funds available.

“The recent award of funding within the local enterprise partnership’s strategic economic plan will provide funding for improvements to sustainable transport in Bury St Edmunds.”

1 comment

  • Perhaps Green King might step in and fund the planned projects? Being the home of this multi national company an investment in cycle ways throughout the home base would surely be in it's interest for the workers and workers families, along with creating a name for itself in the town. Cycle ways could be named after the company, Green Way? King Way? Green King Cycle Ways? Bicycle Hire points and bike pumps could be set up similar to the Barclays cycle hire scheme in London. Food for thought Green King...

    Report this comment

    Shauny

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

A prestigious explorer ship which has travelled to some of the world’s most remote locations will be Ipswich on Tuesday stopping off on its way to Norway.

The family of a baby girl who died just four months after she was born are getting ready to run the Ipswich Colour Dash in her memory.

Armed police have been patrolling Felixstowe Promenade as part of stepped up policing following the terrorist attack on Monday last week.

A keeper killed by a tiger at a zoo in East Anglia has been described as a “lovely lady” who was “absolutely passionate” about the animals in her care.

The Ipswich Star today relaunches a campaign urging every primary school in the area to join the pioneering Daily Mile scheme to help improve fitness and attainment levels among children.

Ipswich football legend Terry Butcher was one of the many crowd-pleasers at a Suffolk fete yesterday.

Conservative Party leader Theresa May was on Channel 4 and Sky News along with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Suffolk superstar Ed Sheeran is backing the We Love Manchester campaign to support victims of the May 22 terorist bombing.

Patients are set to benefit from a £1.5million project to bring new cardiac services to West Suffolk Hospital.

Greshams in Ipswich has been a hive of activity this Bank Holiday as the venue hosted its Family Fun Day.

Most read

Most commented

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24