By RICHARD WOOD
Friday, February 1, 2013
Permanent plans for a controversial one-way system through a Suffolk market town will be on display next month.
A trial system has been running through Bungay since September and the town council is hoping it will be permanently approved in June.
Next month a design of the final plans will go on show, but the scheme has split the town and an opposition group is calling for it to be abandoned.
Bob Prior, of the Bungay traffic scheme opposition group, said the trial had been a “disaster”, with reports of cars crashing into bollards and cars driving the wrong way.
“It should be abandoned, that is the sensible way forward before they waste any more money,” he said. “It has been a waste of money that has damaged the town drastically.”
The group has campaigned against the plan since it was unveiled two years ago, with a protest march and petition.
Mr Prior said: “There are still a great groundswell of people absolutely against this system, who feel there are better and more effective ways to overcome the perceived problems.”
However, town mayor Terry Reeve said he felt the trial has gone very well.
“Traffic is flowing around very smoothly and I believe the concerns those against the scheme had, have really not materialised,” he said. “It has proved that a one way system along the road is perfectly possible and can work to benefit the whole of Bungay.”
He added that the current layout is only temporary and will be improved.
Project manager Andrew Pearce said: “Although there were some initial problems with the new layout we are hopeful that the new arrangement will be seen as an improvement overall, and gives us the opportunity to make changes in St Mary’s Street that will enhance the town centre environment for everyone.”
Suffolk County Council introduced the scheme as part of its Local Transport Plan. It had a trial budget of £100,000 and £350,000 for the scheme.
The end of February will mark six months for the trial and Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for roads, will give a recommendation. This will then go before the council’s rights of way committee in June.
The exhibition of the final proposed design will be held at the Fisher Theatre, in Bungay. It will be held Wednesday, February 20 and Thursday, February 21 from 11am to 7pm, Friday, February 22 11am to 3pm, and Saturday, February 23 10am to 2pm.