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Junction closure to make way for 'safe cycle and walk path' in Bury St Edmunds put on hold after 'furious backlash' from residents




A plan to close a key junction to make way for a 'safe cycle and walk path' has been put on hold after a 'furious backlash' from residents.

Suffolk County Council had wanted to close the junction of Tollgate Lane and Lancaster Avenue, Bury St Edmunds , and were carrying out the change under government funded 'emergency Covid measures', with work due to start this evening.

The council told the Bury Free Press last week that the scheme was part of plans to improve air quality in the area by reducing vehicle traffic, and to encourage people to 'get active'.

Left to right: Amy Anderson, Suffolk County Council communications officer with councillors David Nettleton and Robert Everitt, at the Junction last Wednesday. Picture by Mark Westley
Left to right: Amy Anderson, Suffolk County Council communications officer with councillors David Nettleton and Robert Everitt, at the Junction last Wednesday. Picture by Mark Westley

However, residents said they were 'shocked' and 'horrified' by the scheme, the lack of consultation, and feared the proposed closure would create traffic chaos.

They launched a petition in protest which has so far gained 300 signatures and carried out a traffic survey last Friday to illustrate how much the junction was needed, saying many were 'furious' about the move, and having had 'only a week's notice'.

In a joint statement, David Nettleton, Suffolk County Councillor for Town Division and West Suffolk Councillor for the Tollgate Ward, and Robert Everitt, Suffolk County Councillor for Town Division and West Suffolk councillor for the Minden Ward, said today:

“Following discussions with local residents in the area we have decided to pause the closure of Lancaster Avenue to assess alternative solutions. We will be contacting local residents in due course to discuss further and we welcome their suggestions.

"We know there are issues with rat-running through the estate as many local residents have informed us, as well as the need to make it safer and easier for more people to walk and cycle for their shorter journeys. In particular, those students travelling to the nearby primary and secondary schools, new Abbeygate Sixth Form Centre and West Suffolk College.”

Read the full story in this coming Friday's Bury Free Press (October 2 edition).

Read more: All the latest news from Bury St Edmunds