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Proposals could jeopardise relief road

PUBLISHED: 09:00 17 April 2009 | UPDATED: 08:08 01 August 2010

CAMPAIGNERS fighting for a southern relief road have reacted angrily to proposals to divert lorries from Beccles town centre into Worlingham.

Last week The Journal revealed plans to take HGVs out of the town and into the village along the A146 and back along Lowestoft Road.

CAMPAIGNERS fighting for a southern relief road have reacted angrily to proposals to divert lorries from Beccles town centre into Worlingham.

Last week The Journal revealed plans to take HGVs out of the town and into the village along the A146 and back along Lowestoft Road.

But the move by Beccles town councillor Brian Woodruff and the town's county councillor Mark Bee has been condemned by Worlingham Parish Council who said it would only transfer the problem of heavy goods traffic to them.

And the Beccles branch of Save Our Rural Roads (SORR) believe the plans could hinder the push for a southern relief road because it undermines a united argument to be put to Suffolk County Council.

Worlingham Parish Council said that 69pc of residents already have issues about the amount of vehicles on Lowestoft Road, a figure revealed from their parish plan research that will be released next week.

The council said: “Lowestoft Road is in a residential area, serving three schools and the local shops and the church. The only real option to solve these traffic problems is a Southern Link Road and both Beccles Town Council and councillor Bee should be promoting this as a solution to the problems within Beccles and the other local parishes, rather than a plan which would transfer the issues within Beccles town centre to a neighbouring residential parish.”

SORR, which has held a number of meetings with representatives of the affected parishes about the southern relief road, said that they were unhappy with the proposals.

Secretary Bob Aris said: “The central philosophy of SORR is that no council shall resolve their traffic problems at the expense of another council. Our objective is to present informed and united arguments to Suffolk County Council with the ultimate goal of having the southern relief road built by 2011.

“Councillor Mark Bee and councillor Brian Woodruff's proposals appear to aim at stopping Beccles through HGV traffic. Putting this in place would put additional HGV traffic through Worlingham, in direct contradiction to the SORR constitution.”

Mr Aris said it was possible that Beccles could have a relief road by 2011 if everyone remained united. Until then the best way of relieving traffic problems was to keep the traffic “evenly distributed” over the two routes.

Mr Woodruff defended his actions, saying that they had only put their ideas out as a proposal to be discussed. He said he hoped Worlingham would also come up with a proposed solution to the problem of HGVs in the area.

“How long do you sit on your backside and wait?” he said. “It's up to them to say 'this is what we want.' I'm sure that we can work out a really good plan to get these lorries away from our tiny little roads.”

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