Bridging the gap for isolated residents

STOWMARKET: A new multi-million pound bridge linking the town centre with 1,800 properties in a housing development has been officially unveiled.

It is hoped the new B1105 relief road and bridge, named Navigation Approach, will make the centre of Stowmarket more accessible to residents living in the Cedars Park development.

Previously people wishing to access the town north of the railway line had to negotiate the level crossing on the main B1115 Stowupland Road, which proved to be a congestion bottleneck at busy times of the day.

Yesterday Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council’s head of transport, joined mayor Poppy Robinson and Gary Green and Anne Whybrow, both Stowmarket town and county councillors, in officially opening the link, which cost �18million to build.

Mr McGregor praised the forward-thinking attitude of all involved in the “complex” project and said the new bridge would make a big difference to the lives of hundreds of people who were already living in Cedars Park and many more in the future.

He said: “Cedars Park is a big development. There are a lot of people living there and they have been slightly isolated, and this is a piece of the jigsaw. A lot of people have worked very hard to get this to fruition.” Mrs Whybrow said people had been waiting “for years” to see the relief road opened, and it was fantastic to see traffic travelling across it.

The new relief road also offers more direct access to the town for walkers and cyclists as well as buses coming in from the north.

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Mrs Robinson said the bridge was a “wonderful feat of engineering” which would integrate Cedars Park with the town.

Some landscaping work has to be completed and land around the south end of the bridge has been set aside for residential and commercial development in the future.