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Traffic, the countryside and the town's market feature in this week's mailbag.

HGVS NEED TO BE ROUTED ELSEWHERE

Copy of a letter to Cllr Peter Thompson, Suffolk County Councillor for Eastgate and Moreton Hall division:

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

The development of the A14 has included many a bypass – Newmarket, Stowmarket, Needham Market, Ipswich and Bury St. Edmunds, also many villages. It is strange that Suffolk Council has created the Eastern Relief Road at Bury (Bedingfeld Way, Skyliner Way and Rougham Tower Avenue) which runs parallel with the A14 connected together with Junctions 44 and 45, then makes a statement that it would expect HGVs to use Junction 44, as that is the shortest route to the Suffolk Park from the west.

Junction 45 at Rougham is not busy, nothing like Junction 44, which is a major route for the people of Bury and Sudbury.

When the main water pipe burst at Junction 44 it created many problems for Bury – if the same happened at Junction 45 it would have passed unnoticed.

Bedingfeld Way, Orttewell Road and Skyliner Way on Moreton Hall with the busy local traffic, small roundabouts and parked cars is not a major route for an HGV. The condition of the roads tells you that.

Orttewell Road has a bypass, it is called Compiegne Way, but with the opening of the Eastern Relief Road you now see HGVs from Rougham Industrial estate use Orttewell Road instead of Compiegne Way.

The bypass for Bedingfeld Way is the A14, between Junctions 44 and 45 – a good dual-carriageway route.

Because of the opening of the Eastern Relief Road, Moreton Hall has become a major short cut to the Suffolk Park and Rougham Industrial Park from all directions when there are better alternatives. Items need to be put in place so these other routes are used. If not, Moreton Hall will be overrun by HGVs.

As councillor for Moreton Hall could you please put items in place so this do happen?

Bedingfeld Way has been knocked to pieces with this excess HGV use – potholes, storm drains starting to twist over and bumps in the road. It sounds like their are five people with two kettle drums standing along the road banging the drums when certain HGVs go by.

As councillor for Moreton Hall, could you put things in place so Bedingfeld Way is brought to a standard so we do not hear that drum noise (as it used to be)?

William Wicks, via email

MATT, COUNTRYSIDE NEEDS PROTECTION

I was so glad to read Matt Hancock’s piece on the beauty of our Suffolk countryside (Bury Free Press, January 21). No doubt, since his fall from grace, he has had more time to enjoy it. We can only hope that this will encourage him to use what influence he has to ensure the government brings in tighter regulations, new laws and more money to protect it.

For a start he could persuade the government to restore the cuts made to the Environment Agency’s (EA)budget so that it had the manpower to improve the quality of our streams and rivers, only 14 per cent of which are rated as of a good ecological standard in England. None of them achieved a good chemical standard. Pollution from raw sewage discharges by water companies directly into rivers, chemical discharges from industry, and agricultural run-off are key sources of pollution and there has been no improvement since 2016. Cuts at the EA have resulted in only major pollution events being followed up. Much less monitoring is taking place and fewer cases are being brought to court.

Then there is the very real threat of the climate crisis which needs urgent action. We hear a lot of fine words from government but little seems to be being done. We need to see real investment in improving insulation in people’s homes, particularly the poorest. We need improvements in building regulations to make sure all houses being built have the highest environmental standards. We waste so much energy through housing that leaks heat into the atmosphere. Of course, Mr Hancock’s friends don’t want to hear any of this, which is why they are trying to change the law to prevent noisy protests and deprive us of our civil liberties.

Perhaps Mr Hancock could also suggest to his friends in government that subsidies on fossil fuels need to be phased out and more money invested in alternative energy sources. A nationwide network of charging points for electric cars would also help to move people away from petrol and diesel versions.

Sadly, our countryside remains under threat from some types of agricultural practices as well. The use of chemicals has badly degraded our soils, so that infiltration is slow and flooding of fields and roads is increasingly commonplace. Deep ploughing and a lack of cover crops in winter means that there is a lack of humus to retain moisture. As alternating drought and heavy rain seem likely to be the pattern due to climate change we seem very unprepared for what is to come.

Genetically modified crops are not the answer, as Mr Hancock’s neighbouring MP Jo Churchill seems to think. She recently said: “New genetic technologies could help us tackle some of the biggest challenges of our age, around food security, climate change and biodiversity loss.” This is just not the case, it will increase our need for more agro-chemicals as has been shown in the USA. Is it not time that government encouraged regenerative agriculture to put the soil back into good heart and increase nutrition and farmers’ profits? It would also encourage many more of those bird species Mr Hancock likes to see and reduce pollution in our streams.

So when Mr Hancock gets back to the smoke, perhaps he could have a word with his friends in Defra and tell them that we still have a beautiful county, but it could be so much better with more investment and a bit more regulation. Diverse and fascinating? Undoubtedly, but with room for improvement.

The Rev Richard Stainer, Bradfield St George

LACK OF BUSES HAS HIT MARKET

Regarding recent letters voicing disappointment at the loss of market stalls on Bury St Edmunds’ market – they wonder why?

One of the biggest reasons must be the lack of buses.

Coming to town from the countryside villages when I was young back in the 1970s and 80s, there were at least two buses each way on Wednesdays and Saturdays. When there was the cattle market, there were even more. Once that was closed and done away with, people were unable to get to Bury unless they had cars and not many could afford cars.

Now it’s all ‘online’ and home delivery for most eatable goodies.

But the market is not just food, there’s plants and flowers, magazines, cards, animal and bird food, also clothes, hardware and garden needs.

Over the last two-plus years, the market square has been having building work going on – at the old post office – which has involved Buttermarket, Cornhill Walk and St Andrew’s Street North and South, plus no parking nearby, not even for the market traders.

When I moved to Rattlesden there was a very good bus service, three times a day through all the little villages, which was very good for people like myself who do not drive but still like to do their own shopping. On most Wednesdays and Saturdays there would be at least 16plus people including mothers with new babies and wheelchair users.

Suddenly, without warning, these buses were all stopped.

Teenagers used these buses on Saturdays, so ‘mummy and daddy’ didn’t have to drive them everywhere, meaning there were fewer cars on the roads.

Now we have no buses at all. The nearest bus stop for Bury is five miles away, so has a £16 taxi fare each way (£32) to get to it.

I have been enquiring and campaigning to get us a bus service of some sort and hope it is going to be a success, at least to get us to Bury once a week (hopefully on a Wednesday market day).

Sheila Rogers, Rattlesden

-- Send your letters to letters@buryfreepress.co.uk