Beccles Southern Relief Road could become reality
THE long-awaited Beccles southern relief road is poised to become a reality, and residents are being urged to have their say on the scheme in a bid to seal its future.
Suffolk County Council has confirmed that a public consultation on plans for the road will begin on Monday.
Plans for a relief road, which would take lorries out of Beccles and some surrounding roads by creating a new route, have been in the pipeline for more than 20 years.
The scheme will provide a direct link between the A145 on London Road at Weston in the west, and the Beccles Business Park and Ellough Industrial Estates at Ellough Moor in the east.
The road will help to reduce traffic congestion in Beccles town centre and will serve as a diversion route for heavy goods vehicle traffic travelling into the industrial estates at Ellough Moor from the A145.
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It will significantly relieve the town centre from HGV traffic.
Guy McGregor, Suffolk county portfolio holder for roads, transport and planning, said: “This scheme is an important part of the work that we are doing to help reduce traffic congestion and improve the quality of life for the residents of the town.
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“It is important that the people of Beccles and local businesses have their say on the proposed route, and I hope everyone visits the exhibition, or goes online, to view the plans and express their views.”
Beccles deputy mayor Alan Thwaites said it is vital people make their voices heard.
“This is a prime opportunity for people to have their say,” he said. “We need to strike while the iron is hot, and the iron is as hot as its going to be.”
John Sayer, chairman of the Beccles branch of Save Our Rural Roads, echoed Mr Thwaites’ view and said: “The southern relief road is very much needed.
“We have got to make our presence known.”
Waveney MP Peter Aldous welcomed the consultation and said: “I do think a relief road is badly needed in Beccles for a variety of reasons.
“I think the heavy traffic going through the town centre at the moment is not a good thing.
“We saw the collapse of the road in Blyburgate and this very much focused peoples’ minds on getting heavy traffic out of the town centre.”
He added that the road would boost business and help open up commercial development land opportunities in the Ellough area.
He said the road would be a “great benefit” to the community and added: “Lorries at the moment do rat run, and I am mindful of the problems in Weston and Ellough.
“Hopefully, it will address those issues.
“It also gives us an opportunity to look at the wider transport issues around the town.”
Waveney District Council leader Mark Bee said: “I very much welcome it. It is something very important for Beccles and Worlingham.
“I think it is good that the county council has put this forward.
“It is a move in the right direction and comes on the back of good news about the Beccles Loop.”
The public consultation will begin on Monday and lasts until April 15.
Local residents, businesses and users of the town will be able to see the plans in more detail and express their views at Beccles Public Hall on Thursday, March 17, between noon and 7pm, and on Saturday, March 19, between 10am and 4pm. Alternatively, the plans can be viewed online at www.suffolk.gov.uk/consultations.
Leaflets are also available from Beccles Library and the Waveney District Council offices on Market Street.