Changes to Tayfen Road junction to go ahead next year

Improvements proposed for Tayfen Road, in Bury St Edmunds
Improvements proposed for Tayfen Road, in Bury St Edmunds

A roundabout in Bury St Edmunds will be replaced with traffic lights – but the changes are not the solution,according to one councillor.

Work in Tayfen Road will go ahead next year after a four-week public consultation showed support for changing the junction with Station Hill.

Suffolk County Council says the scheme will support the expected growth of the town over the next 14 years, improve conditions for cyclists and pedestrians and manage traffic flows, but Councillor David Nettleton thinks the public consultation was flawed.

“The basic problem is that the choice people were offered was to keep the status quo or to install the traffic lights the council is proposing. I don’t regard that as an offer. They have done a sham consultation,” said Cllr Nettleton.

In addition to the roundabout removal, a toucan crossing will be installed on the Tayfen Road arm of the Northgate roundabout and pavements in Tayfen Road, Station Hill and Fornham Road widened. A cycle link from Fornham Road to Cannon Street will be created, and two-lane approaches to the junction in Compiegne Way and Tayfen Road will be extended to allow for more cars and better traffic flow.

But Cllr Nettleton thinks the scheme could cause more problems.

“What they are going to do at that junction will cost a lot of money, but I’m not sure they (the county council) are going to achieve what they want,” he said.

“When they put in traffic lights and stop the traffic – even for a few seconds at a time – they are going to cause more traffic congestion. Traffic lights aren’t the solution and they don’t work for anybody.”

During the consultation 181 responses were received: 132 people (of the 172 responding to the question) agreed the route between the town centre and train station should be improved for pedestrians; 59.8 per cent (of 174 people who answered the question) agreed with the Tayfen Road proposals; and 107 people (of the 160 who answered) said the Northgate roundabout should be improved for pedestrians and cyclists.

Cllr Jane Storey, Suffolk County Council deputy leader, said: “Based on the responses we received, we will be undertaking the works as proposed – but where possible we will look to see how we can reflect some of the comments made by those who took part in the consultation and make adjustments to the work done.”