May 24 2013 Latest news:
By RICHARD WOOD
Friday, June 22, 2012
CAMPAIGNERS against a one-way system for Bungay have called for Suffolk County Council to abandon its plans in a bid to help save money.
The Bungay Scheme Opposition Group has called on the council to back down on its intention to introduce a trial one-way system to save hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The group believe that there are cheaper alternatives at a time of austerity and that the majority of people in the town are unaware that the much-debated system has a budget of £450,000.
In a letter to council leader Mark Bee, Bob Prior, who has campaigned against the proposals, said: “I and all of those who are against the scheme ask that you pull the plug on it now and save money.
“I realise that you have already spent money on the scheme, but as anyone in business will tell you, cut your losses now because it is pointless throwing good money after bad.”
The proposed one-way scheme, which is part of Suffolk County Council’s Local Transport Plan, will send traffic north along St Mary’s Street and Lower Olland Street and south along Trinity Street and Wharton Street.
Mr Prior said that the campaigners had suggested a number of cheaper alternatives, including employing a PCSO to improve the patrolling of cars parked illegally and slight changes where Lower Olland Street meets St Mary’s Street, but that many traders and people in the town had felt that their opinions had not been listened to.
He added: “They believe that these proposals are a complete and utter waste of money that could be better spent on maintaining essential services.”
Mr Bee was away this week but a spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council confirmed the trial would begin in August and said the budget will be £100,000 for the trial and £350,000 for the scheme.
She said that they expected there to be money remaining from the £100,000, with the remaining funds put forward to the permanent scheme, while some of the preliminary works will also be kept if it is not made permanent.
Works in preparation for the trial include creating a new loading bay and pedestrian crossing in Trinity Street, which will require a four week road closure.
There will also be a new entrance into Wharton Street car park from Lower Olland Street.
Property condition surveys in Trinity Street, following an independent study into its suitability to be part of a one-way system, are due to be completed at the end of the month, with work on the system beginning in two months.
She said: “The trial of the one way system in Bungay is due to start during the school summer holiday in August in order to minimise disruption while road works are underway and diversions are in place.”
The trial period can last between six and 18 months and if the council’s Rights of Way committee decide it has been successful, they will implement the permanent scheme.
The spokeswoman said the council are hopeful that the trial period can be completed in six months, with the full scheme installed next year.
Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council’s portfolio holder responsible for roads, planning and transport, has previously said that he expects the scheme to hugely improve Bungay, while town mayor Terry Reeve has said that the advantages of the potential scheme outweighed the disadvantages.