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Sudbury: Fears for future of road improvement schemes as £65,000 is spent on a single speed bump

PUBLISHED: 11:53 29 April 2014 | UPDATED: 11:53 29 April 2014

The traffic hump in Sudbury town centre.

The traffic hump in Sudbury town centre.

Archant

Almost £100,000 earmarked for traffic improvements in Sudbury has been “frittered away” it was claimed last night - including £65,000 on a speed bump.

A total of £460,000 has been allocated by the county council for road schemes in the town but there are fears from local people that they are not seeing any tangible results.

At a recent Sudbury Steering Group meeting, county highways officers presented the results of a public consultation carried out earlier this year to ascertain how the money could best be spent.

In a report to the group, it emerged that £24,000 has been set aside for feasibility studies, the consultation and related works, and £8,000 for managing the project, while £65,000 has already been paid out for traffic calming measures in King Street.

The ‘raised platform’ road hump was supposed to make it safer for people to cross the road at a busy intersection on the town centre’s one-way system. But it has been widely criticised for being “confusing” to pedestrians and motorists.

Last night, the county council defended how the money is being used, while members of the steering group commended highways chiefs for consulting the town.

But businessman David Holland, whose shop Curtain Craft is next to the road hump, believes the money has been “frittered” with no tangible results.

He said: “From the head of highways’ report at the meeting, it seems that the much talked about £460,000 has diminished with around 20% of it having already been frittered and we have nothing to show for it except a 20 tonne heap of tarmac.

“I find it amazing that even with the money spent on the consultation around Sudbury, no proposal has come forward that would stand close scrutiny.

“Nothing of consequence has happened but an awful lot of public money has been spent.”

County and district councillor John Sayers, who also attended the meeting, said the hump was part of an earlier plan to develop a shared space in the town centre, which was later abandoned. But he added: “I haven’t met anyone yet who has said that the hump is good value for money.

“It is a very expensive road hump and I don’t think it serves any useful purpose whatsoever.”

Simon Barrett, vice chairman of the steering group, said he did not think the town had gained much from the traffic humps. But he defended the money spent on consulting the public. He added: “Consultation is quite important because we need to make sure that what we do is right. If you have to spend the money to get it right, then so be it.

“At least the county is actually listening to us and not just saying ‘this is what you are having’. It’s a little frustrating but they are taking note.”

Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for roads and transport, said the purpose of the consultation was to identify highway issues in Sudbury. He added: “From that, we are working with the steering group so that local representatives can help to prioritise projects to be funded through the local transport plan (LTP).

“The purpose of taking proposals to the steering group is to share with partners the ideas being considered and seek their input.

“This work is ongoing and final proposals will only be formed once public consultation has been carried out.”

The remainder of the £460,000 has to be committed to a project by the end of this financial year.

6 comments

  • Scrap the one-way system completely, to make it two-way. Bring in 20mph limits throughout the town. Stop trying sticking plaster fixes. Think big and we'll get big funding.

    Report this comment

    Robert Lindsay

    Friday, May 2, 2014

  • Just run that past me again,I thought someone said 65k for a road hump. Must have misheard. I would like to see the costs involved for this Mr Newman . If you had three quotes then what must the other quotes have been? No wonder we all have the hump.our hard earned money is being wasted.

    Report this comment

    John W

    Tuesday, April 29, 2014

  • Yet more evidence that the Suffolk CC highways department is totally unfit for purpose. Still, at least they haven't put traffic lights on the hump (yet).

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Tuesday, April 29, 2014

  • If i've said it once i've said it a thousand times before... what an absolute waste of money!! I hadn't realised it was actually £65k unwell spent on this pointless hump. Suffolk County Council have a lot to answer for, it does seem Sudbury is the forgotten town of Suffolk with road improvements taking place everywhere else but in Sudbury. Sudbury Town Council need to grow some and demand some additional funding to improve the traffic movement around this historic town. Time to team up with Halstead and push for Essex and Suffolk to work together for improvements to the A131 with bypasses around both towns. Time for North Street to become car free. Time to push for redevelopment of the bus station (whilst a major arts cinema is still interested in locating to the town). Time to improve links between the train station and the town centre. Come on Sudbury Town Council, time to get those fists out and fight for this small town!!

    Report this comment

    Shauny

    Tuesday, April 29, 2014

  • Sounds like the Spa Gardens at Felixstowe - wasting tax payer money

    Report this comment

    zaax

    Tuesday, April 29, 2014

  • Mr Holland, owner of Curtain Craft complained about this scheme before it even started and isn't going to stop now. As for being confusing? At least the traffic has slowed down in their confusion and pedestrians can actually get across the road. Let's not forget that just before the "20 tonne heap of tarmac" was fitted an elderly pedestrian was killed by a heavy goods vehicle (April 2011) around this point. Anything that prevents that happening again by slowing down traffic can't be that bad. Mind you the shopkeepers probably complained about the gridlock when the man got killed

    Report this comment

    Citizen

    Tuesday, April 29, 2014

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