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Mounting concerns over Mildenhall Hub entrance after two vehicles damaged near school





Concerns are growing over a ‘dangerous’ entrance to a Suffolk community hub and school after two cars were damaged.

Coaches and wide vehicles struggle to get in and out of the Mildenhall Hub’s Sheldrick Way entrance when there is oncoming traffic, and often have to mount the footpath.

Parents are particularly worried for the safety of their children as well as the potential risk of damage to vehicles after two incidents.

District Councillor Andy Neal at the hub entrance. Picture: Cameron Reid
District Councillor Andy Neal at the hub entrance. Picture: Cameron Reid

A resident's car wing mirror and door were damaged on September 8, after a coach pulled into the £39 million hub and hit the vehicle.

On September 21, another wing mirror was taken off by a food delivery lorry.

District Cllr Andy Neal, who represents the Queensway ward, voiced his concerns to Suffolk Highways but was told they will monitor the number of accidents over the next two years.

“It was obvious to everyone before the hub opened that the entrance was too sharp for buses to turn onto the site, but the concerns fell on deaf ears,” he said.

“By saying they’re prepared for there to be accidents before they will consider changes, is an unacceptable course of action.

"People should not have to be put at risk for two years before they admit they have got this entrance wrong.”

The back of a bus swinging into the hub caused damage to a resident's car. Picture: Local resident
The back of a bus swinging into the hub caused damage to a resident's car. Picture: Local resident

Mildenhall mayor, Ian Shipp, also a West Suffolk Councillor, said the junction is not fit for purpose and stressed the potential worrying impact it could have.

"At drop off and pick up times it’s chaos. When you add a police vehicle leaving for an emergency call at these times it’s downright dangerous," he said.

He noted that 1300 homes proposed to be built along West Row Road could exacerbate the issue.

There are plans to build 1300 new homes towards West Row which could make the issue worse. Picture: Cameron Reid
There are plans to build 1300 new homes towards West Row which could make the issue worse. Picture: Cameron Reid

The building, which opened in September 2021, features a school, gym, 3G pitch, swimming pools and sports hall, a new town library, health centre, job centre and more.

It also features office space for the NHS, police, Suffolk County Council and West Suffolk Council.

The project cost £39 million and opened its doors to the public last year. Picture: Cameron Reid
The project cost £39 million and opened its doors to the public last year. Picture: Cameron Reid

Cllr Jo Rayner, West Suffolk cabinet member for leisure, culture and community hubs, said the entrance was designed by specialist consultants following national guidelines and was approved by the highways authority through the planning process after safety audits and consultation.

“The county council are partners in the project as well as the highways and the education authority, and we have made them aware of Cllr Neal’s concerns,” she said.

Suffolk Highways said there were no plans to make changes to the entrance and would monitor any incidents relating to the junction.