Tayfen traffic lights proposal is paused, but roadworks continue

An delay on controversial roads proposals has been welcomed by councillors who had called for a rethink.

Suffolk County Council has put plans to remove a roundabout at Tayfen Road/Station Hill/Ipswich Street and install four sets of traffic lights in its place ‘on pause’.

Jane Storey, interim cabinet member for highways and transport, said in a letter to councillors that while the traffic lights were the council’s ‘preferred option’, they would not be installed at this time.

“Further discussions over the Bury St Edmunds Masterplan have shown some significant changes which could change traffic flows, as well as demand, on Tayfen Road and the associated junctions,” she said.

“It therefore seems to be prudent at this point to pause the proposal for the removal of the Tayfen Road roundabout and review it again once the new traffic flows and demands for the area are fully understood.”

District councillor Paul Hopfensperger, who was critical of the original four-way traffic lights plan, said the delay was ‘good news’.

“The council has just caved in. It is astonishing. I’m pleased it is not putting the four-way traffic lights in Tayfen Road now but it is a tiny step, as it is putting them in everywhere else,” he said.

County Cllr David Nettleton said he suspected the traffic lights might still be installed in the future, in which case he would call for a new consultation.

The council is pushing ahead with other changes – including a pedestrian crossing and widening of Compiegne Way – in the Northgate area, where 16 weeks of roadworks started on Monday.

Motorists reported delays across the town as a result of the Northgate scheme and ongoing works at the Spread Eagle junction.

One Tayfen Road resident criticised the council for poor communication on the works.

“We had a letter months ago stating there was a pedestrian crossing going in, but we’re not sure where exactly. We’ve been given no information, it’s ridiculous,” she said.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said the traffic lights proposal would be reviewed in due course as new developments in the area progressed.