Home   Bury St Edmunds   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Planned safety improvements at Fishwick Corner, Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds, ‘are not fit for purpose’, say campaigners





Campaigners say planned road improvements at a notorious accident blackspot are ‘not fit for purpose’.

Developers Bloor Homes has announced work to improve the junction at Fishwick Corner, Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds, will begin at the end of September.

It has committed to creating a staggered junction, in place of the current crossroads, and approved by planners, ahead of a 210 home development off nearby Beyton Road.

The approved plan for the upgrade at Fishwick Corner, Thurston. Image: Bloor Homes/Mid Suffolk District Council
The approved plan for the upgrade at Fishwick Corner, Thurston. Image: Bloor Homes/Mid Suffolk District Council

Suffolk County Council said in a planning report at the time of the proposal that it felt a staggered junction at Fishwick Corner ‘delivers sufficient mitigation’.

But campaigner and Thurston resident, Andrew Ridgeon, said: “As highlighted many times throughout the planning and re-design phase of Fishwick Corner and up to the present day, the proposed changes here are considered not fit for purpose.

“No attention has been given to speeding from the east and west directions into this junction and the design will not eliminate this problem.

Fishwick Corner in Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Google maps
Fishwick Corner in Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Google maps

“To address the current ongoing accident risk here, temporary measures need to be introduced, traffic lights, speed reducing elements, whilst this plan is re-visited to ensure a fully considered and workable solution is delivered, and the necessity to introduce further redesign in the future does not call on the taxpayer to fund.”Campaigners are calling for a halt on all housing developments until a ‘robust’ infrastructure is in place.

A roundabout was considered at Fishwick Corner but it would require ‘a large area of land, would be less safe for cyclists’ and would require the removal of more trees,” said the county council.

Thurston has seen a raft of planning applications from different developers since 2017.

At present, up to 1,248 new homes have been approved across seven sites, including Ixworth Road, Norton Road, Beyton Road and Barton Road.

Bloor Homes added works to the Beyton Road access is not due to start until early 2025, while works to Pokeriage Corner is expected to be completed before the fiftieth occupation of housing development.

The developer is also coordinating with Thurston Parish Council to ensure the works to Barton Road roundabout take place, prior to the hundredth home occupation.

Mr Ridgeon added: “Bloor Homes working timetable clearly outlines ever more delays to much needed infrastructure improvements will be inevitable.

“The railway underpass, Barton Road, New Road, Beyton Road, junction will not be addressed until Bloor has at least completed the entire road network, ground works on the development site, a significant volume of construction of housing units, and occupation has been taken up.

“It’s most likely a minimum of two further years of delay will be the outcome which will include the two other highway upgrades they are commissioned to address.

“Mid Suffolk District Council and Suffolk County Council have no immediate plans in place to address the five other areas of highway infrastructure and safety improvements north of the railway line.

“This outcome was anticipated when Bloor Homes were granted planning consent and prompted the call for a complete halt to further development within the parish until all of the outstanding infrastructure improvements are completed satisfactorily.”

Mid Suffolk District Council said it is committed to working with a number of parties to ensure infrastructure is in place for its ‘growing towns and villages’.

Bloor Homes has been approached for comment.