More consultation for road changes

DRASTIC proposals to re-route traffic in Stowmarket have today been sent back to the drawing board.A Suffolk County Council scheme to alter the road system at Combs Ford is set to change after fierce opposition from residents who claimed it would create congestion and pollution.

DRASTIC proposals to re-route traffic in Stowmarket have today been sent back to the drawing board.

A Suffolk County Council scheme to alter the road system at Combs Ford is set to change after fierce opposition from residents who claimed it would create congestion and pollution.

Suffolk County councillor and Stowmarket town councillor Keith Myers-Hewitt plans to hold a meeting on Monday when the original plans will be partly scrapped and new ideas are put forward.

Mr Myers-Hewitt said: "The problem was nobody could agree on what was for the best and because there was very little consultation people were suspicious.

"People thought we were going ahead with the work without listening to the opposition.

"This is an interim meeting to get a feel for what people want. When we get some answers, we will put the new plans down on paper and put them out to the public for consultation.

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"It's going through all the motions again and we won't make the mistake of leaving people feeling like they haven't been consulted."

The county council is due to carry out a £120,000 project divided into two parts - south and north of the town's Boulters Bridge.

The plans north of the bridge have been finalised but an agreement on work south of the bridge, at Combs Ford, is yet to be made.

The plans originally included:

Reversing the one-way system, which partly circles the Combs Esso garage.

Narrowing Needham Road.

Reducing a section of Needham Road to one lane.

Replacing the two-way carriageway in Ipswich Road with a single, one-way road.

Adding a combined cycle and footpath.

Bob Paton, chairman of Combs Parish Council, said: "We have always wanted the whole scheme put on hold until it's been thoroughly consulted on.

"All the plans are pretty awful and I've read the Stowmarket Local Transport Action Plan from cover to cover and nothing matches up."

Monday's meeting will be attended by Mr Myers-Hewitt, Mr Paton, a representative from the National Farmers' Union, residents from Needham Road and Edgecomb Road, a representative from the Lavenham Park Residents' Association, Stowmarket Mayor Lesley Mayes and Mid Suffolk district councillor Gordon Paton.

It will be held at the Mid Suffolk District Council drop-in centre in Ipswich Street, Stowmarket.

How do you think the traffic system in Combs Ford should be changed? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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