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Beccles and Bungay to benefit from transport investment

PUBLISHED: 06:00 01 April 2011

THE next five years will see tremendous transport improvements in the Waveney Valley, with plans for the Beccles rail loop, southern relief road and Bungay one-way system all on track.

That’s the view of Suffolk’s councillor for transport Guy McGregor who outlined his traffic plan to the county council’s cabinet this week.

Mr McGregor unveiled the Suffolk Local Transport Plan 2011-31 for the first time in public as he outlined his plans for the future of the county’s transport network.

Mr McGregor said it was an exciting document, adding that a lot of work was being done to ensure market towns such as Beccles and Bungay could benefit.

Among the short-term projects included was the Beccles Loop, which has been given £1 million by the county council.

Network Rail is also putting in at least £3 million to ensure an hourly service between Ipswich and Lowestoft can be introduced from December next year.

Mr McGregor also said that work will be done to help refurbish the whole station area in Beccles.

“Our intention is to improve the whole environment. Waveney District Council is in discussions with land owners around the site because we really want to upgrade the whole area, not just have a passing loop,” he said.

“It is a sad reflection if we spend £4m and can’t get make the environment around it much more fitting.

“We should have something of the highest possible quality. Beccles deserves the best and should not put up with second rate.”

Mr McGregor also said that short- term traffic improvements to Bungay were important, as was the Beccles south relief road to help alleviate some of the heavy goods traffic through the town.

“I believe we should have development and carry out road schemes to protect our market towns in the Waveney Valley,” he said.

“This is not road building for road building’s sake. Continuous HGV traffic through historic places plays havoc with the infrastructure and I will do my level best to shift this away.”

In light of the recent cuts to bus services, there was also talk of demand response transport to villages south of Beccles and Bungay that will be able to take people into town when they need.

Mr McGregor said that there was a lot happening in Waveney and that he hoped to see “tremendous improvements” over the next five years.

He also outlined that the next project to focus on will be the effort to obtain the £35 million needed to electrify the train line between Lowestoft and Ipswich.

He called it the “next big push for the area” and hoped it would enable regular direct train services to between London and Waveney to return.

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