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Tourist attraction danger claim

PUBLISHED: 13:58 04 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:06 03 March 2010

PROPOSED access to one of Suffolk's newest tourist attractions will put visitors in danger a neighbouring farmer claimed today.

Peter Waring, who owns Sutton Hoo Farm next to the Sutton Hoo Archaeological site, felt compelled to speak out after the National Trust put in a fresh application for access to its new £7 million visitor centre.

PROPOSED access to one of Suffolk's newest tourist attractions will put visitors in danger a neighbouring farmer claimed today.

Peter Waring, who owns Sutton Hoo Farm next to the Sutton Hoo Archaeological site, felt compelled to speak out after the National Trust put in a fresh application for access to its new £7 million visitor centre.

More than five years of negotiations have taken place to agree on access to the site, which it is believed will attract about 50,000 visitors a year after it opens on March 14.

The original plan included a middle filter lane being added to the B1083, the main road running past the site and guaranteed separation of visitors' traffic and agriculture vehicles going to the farm.

However, a fresh application which comes before Suffolk County Council on Tuesday has been put in.

An independent traffic analysis report of the application indicates that coaches leaving the new proposed route will have to cross into the path of oncoming traffic at the brow of a hill to make the turning onto the B1083. The visibility of the junction is also highlighted as very poor.

A further hazard arises as traffic arrives at the visitor centre where it will cross at 90 degrees with a road in constant use by heavy farm vehicles.

Mr Waring said: "The only explanation the National Trust have given for changing their plans is that a tarmac road will add to the experience of visitors and that it is an historic drive.

"Traffic will face a seriously dangerous crossing and a serious substandard junction but the National Trust won't listen.

"It's absolute nonsense I cannot see how they can handle it."

"Safety is the only issue here and we have never shifted from that," he added.

Mr Waring is hoping that the National Trust's new plan will be rejected next week and that they can revert to the original route about which everyone was happy and half of which is already built.

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