Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 16°C

Search

Poll: Suffolk County Council applies for up to £1million to get Bury St Edmunds on its bike

11:49 20 March 2014

Archant © 2010

West Suffolk’s biggest town could soon find itself with a £1million fund to make life easier for its walkers and cyclists.

Bury St Edmunds has been earmarked by Suffolk County Council as the latest recipient of its local sustainable transport programme, with the council able to apply for up to £1m from the Department for Transport to fund comprehensive improvements to cycling and pedestrian access across the town.

Around £800,000 will be used to fund an engagement programme with businesses, schools and colleges, as well as devising a travel plan for business employees to ditch the car for their daily commute.

County councillor David Nettleton has been one of the biggest advocates for improving sustainable transport in the town, and said the current facilities were “poor”.

He added: “A lot of the electors I speak to want to cycle more often, they want their children to cycle more often, but find it off-putting that you’ve got green lines by the side of the road, and then they run out.

“The restriction is on the safety aspect. We’ve got to invest in that and that can only be done by local authorities.

“At the minute it’s not sufficient and we need to improve it. The government is very keen to improve it - that’s why it’s allocated this money particularly for these projects.”

Money for engagement programmes will be supported by big investment in infrastructure for cycling and pedestrians, with money drawn from the Local Growth Fund controlled by the New Anglia local enterprise partnership.

Similar investment has already been made in Ipswich and Lowestoft in recent years, with the Lowestoft Links programme resulting in a 10% shift from car journeys to sustainable transport.

Currently, 60% of journeys made in Bury cover fewer than five miles, while drivers often use the A14 as a means of getting from one side of town to the other, which fuels congestion at peak times.

Other reasons the council cited for investing in Bury were the town’s expected growth - 5,000 new homes and 12,000 new jobs by 2031 - as well the impact of the school organisation review on traffic.

A council spokesman said a lot of the town’s current cycling provision was “underused”, adding: “Suffolk County Council doesn’t have revenue budgets to support this level of activity, so if we don’t get the funding the work can’t be done.

“We’ve already bid for and received funding for projects in Ipswich and Lowestoft, which have shown decreases in car use on short journeys.

“It will fund a range of activities for schools, businesses and communities, with dedicated additional resource and staffing to deliver on the ground.”

The deadline for applications is at the end of this month, and money must be spent in the 2015/16 financial year.

1 comment

  • This is the county coubcil that refuses to extend the speed limit to the ends of our village. They could buy quite a lot of 30mph signs (and police time) for £1m and do some real good.

    Report this comment

    Blackeye

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

The new report into deprivation in Suffolk has been launched in front of civic leaders from across the county.

A lane closure which caused miles of tailbacks on a busy Suffolk road is set to reopen today after nearly a week of delays for motorists.

A 15-year-old girl has been reported missing from Ipswich

Highways bosses say they will not condone roadworks where no work is undertaken - after the Ipswich Star encountered four locations in just ONE hour where disruption was being caused but no work taking place.

A 50 year-old man who died following a road traffic collision yesterday has been named as Stewart Mackenzie from Westleton.

Today we launch the first in a series of features looking back at Ipswich’s past - its famous faces, prestigious landmarks and the defining moments that helped shape the town.

A trio of older motorists from Suffolk have proved it is never too late to become a better driver – and urged other road users to follow in their tracks.

Community leaders say the year-long trial to allow cycling on Felixstowe’s promenade has not yet started – and people riding their bikes are breaking the law.

A man has contacted police after an image was released following an alleged assault in Bentley last month.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24