‘Be positive’ plea in traffic challenge

BUNGAY has shied away from tackling its traffic problems for too long, but now the time has come to meet that challenge “head-on”.

That was the message from the town’s deputy mayor this week as the row over plans for a new one-way system rumbled on.

Last week the Journal revealed how traders had branded the scheme a “nightmare” and had voiced concern about how delivery lorries would reach their businesses.

Under the plans St Mary’s Street and part of Lower Olland Street would become one-way.

The scheme, which will link the town’s main shopping street with the existing one-way Trinity Street and Wharton Street in a one-way loop, has proved controversial since options were put out for public consultation in November.

The town council backed the plans at a meeting last week, a decision which has angered many townspeople.

Resident Pamela Plews said: “The new one-way system is indeed a complete nightmare and heavily flawed for many reasons.

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“I cannot believe that Bungay Town Council has agreed to send all traffic down Trinity Street, Wharton Street and Staithe Road in order to free up traffic in St Mary’s Street. In times when we are all asked to cut back, and councils and government are cutting budgets, why are they even thinking of spending �300,000, when all that is required is for the parking restrictions in St Mary’s Street to be enforced in order to get the traffic moving?”

In a letter to the Journal this week, Terry Reeve, the town’s deputy mayor, said Bungay’s traffic problems and how to solve them has been on the agenda of the town council and other organisations for at least 30 years – with nothing being done.

“That cannot go on, and, following the public consultation process on three traffic management options, the town council has voted to support the one favoured by the majority of those who took the trouble to respond,” he said.

He said there was no solution that will be perfect for everyone – none that will receive 100 per cent support from the townspeople.

“There will always be those disadvantaged and some who gain more, depending on where they live, or their business. The council has backed a solution it believes is the best for the town and its residents overall, and in the areas where there is less to gain, steps will be taken to minimise the effect. We are past the point where the ‘do nothing’ option is acceptable.

“The concerns of those with businesses in the town centre, or those living in the streets affected, is perfectly understandable – there are questions that they need answers for.”

He added that both the town council and Suffolk County Council are aware that devising a scheme acceptable to everyone is a challenge.

But, he added, the time had come to meet that challenge head on and to succeed it needed a positive approach and the goodwill of everyone directly or indirectly affected to reach the compromises that will be needed.

See page 6 for Mr Reeve’s letter in full and more thoughts on the plans.