Councillor refuses to back ‘vague’ Sudbury bypass plans
PUBLISHED: 19:20 08 October 2017 | UPDATED: 20:00 08 October 2017
A Sudbury councillor says he will not be signing a petition to support a long-awaited new bypass for the town as the proposal is “vague and simplistic” and does not consider the possible environmental impact on the famous water meadows.
South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge’s online petition calling for a western relief road went live on October 3, and currently has more than 300 signatures.
But Luke Cresswell, Labour town and district councillor for Sudbury South, says he cannot support the plans without knowing the precise route of a relief road.
“I do have some concerns about the bypass proposal. It’s a crude and simplistic approach to Sudbury’s congestion and pollution problems,” Mr Cresswell said. “Even if funding is included in November’s budget, it will be years – probably a decade – before a bypass is completed. Quite rightly, the planning process demands that the impact on the environment is carefully assessed.
“Our historic water meadows are a particularly sensitive natural asset – they need special consideration and protection.
“No-one can claim a bypass offers an acceptable solution until they see the line of the road clearly marked on a map.”
According to Mr Cresswell, signing a petition with vague ideas and no detail would be wrong. Instead he is calling for interim proposals to improve current and ongoing congestion and pollution problems.
“Heavy vehicles need to be deterred from using Sudbury as a designated route and whenever possible we also need to keep HGVs out of our town centre,” he added. “These are measures our MP needs to put his weight behind without delay.”
On his Facebook page, Mr Cartlidge said that since launching the Sudbury bypass petition, a number of people had asked him whether the proposed route would go through the water meadows.
“To be absolutely clear, the petition is to support a bypass in principle as a way of relieving Sudbury’s very significant congestion problems,” he said. “There is no precise proposed route for the bypass to take at this stage. What we can say for certain is that every effort would be made to reduce the environmental impact of the bypass and that any route would have to be acceptable with all considerations taken into account.”