Calls for Bury St Edmunds ‘gateway’ Station Hill to be properly tackled as complaints continue about poor road surface
A key town road that has been described as ‘not a proper hill’ needs major works ‘sooner rather than later’ to resolve the road surface issues, a community leader has said.
Station Hill, in Bury St Edmunds, which is home to the town’s railway station, has been dubbed one of the worst areas in the town for road defects, amid a national potholes crisis.
However, on Station Hill the situation is said to have been going on for some time and could be connected to the creation of the ‘hill’ – and how it was built - when the railway came to Bury in 1846.
It is understood to have been made using the material dug out of the ground to make way for the railway.
County Cllrs David Nettleton and Robert Everitt, who represent the Tower division, have been pushing Suffolk Highways on resolving the road surface problems.
Following conversations with highways, Cllr Everitt said Station Hill needed to be ‘planed and inlaid’, which essentially means taking the surface off and relaying it. But, as yet, there is no idea of timescales.
Cllr Everitt said: “Looking at the state of the road surface as it is currently, it needs to be done sooner rather than later in my view.”
He added: “It is the gateway to the town for people coming in on the trains and if you literally have to pick your way across water-filled potholes to get over the road it doesn’t show Bury in a particularly good light.”
He said because of how Station Hill was initially built ‘whatever Suffolk Highways do to maintain it, it’s never going to be enough because of the substructure of the road’.
Cllr Everitt has been told by highways there were not substantial groundworks in the road and the structure of the soil ‘was not normal’.
Cllr Nettleton said there was instability on the roadway as Station Hill ‘is not a proper hill’, adding holes were appearing in the road through subsidence.
He said: “It’s an artificial hill built when the railway came to Bury in the 1840s. Robert Everitt and I are very keen for them [highways] to do something about Station Hill.”
Cllr Nettleton mentioned that about 20 years ago ‘a great big hole’ appeared at the top of the road.
He believes Station Hill should be be restricted access, adding: “It’s over-used that road. It should be an access road for the station and flats at either end.”
Martyn Taylor, chairman of the Bury Society and a local historian, believes that, rather than it being to do with the make-up of the road, the surface has eroded away by lack of maintenance and the quality of the surface materials used.
“The honest truth of the matter is the road should be completely resurfaced,” he said. “It’s been terrible for a long period of time. It’s breaking up all over the place.”
He said it was a ‘classic case’ of where you keep patching and the edges aren’t sealed properly, the area next to the patch starts to erode and you have the same situation continuously.
“It’s quite ridiculous really,” added Mr Taylor, who believes Station Hill needs to be tackled urgently.
On Wednesday, there were two reports on the Suffolk Highways reporting tool of ‘dangerous’ potholes on Station Hill.
The reports questioned why the defects were not repaired at the time others were recently. One said: “These defects are dangerous and uncomfortable for cyclists.”
Suffolk Highways was approached for comment.