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Joy for campaigners as council agrees to take A-road away from town

Elfrede Brambley Crawshaw and Mark Bee on Blyburgate, Beccles. The road will be downgraded to a 'B' road and the new Southern Relief road will become an A road.

Picture: Nick Butcher

Elfrede Brambley Crawshaw and Mark Bee on Blyburgate, Beccles. The road will be downgraded to a 'B' road and the new Southern Relief road will become an A road. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

Heavy traffic will soon be diverted away from the centre of Beccles after it was agreed to remove the A145 from the town.

A poster by the Beccles Road Safety Group who are lobbied Suffolk County Council to re-route the A145 out of the town centre onto the new relief road. Picture: Beccles Road Safety Group A poster by the Beccles Road Safety Group who are lobbied Suffolk County Council to re-route the A145 out of the town centre onto the new relief road. Picture: Beccles Road Safety Group

The decision by Suffolk County Council follows a campaign by residents, town and county councillors to make the new Beccles Southern Relief Road an A-road rather than a B-road.

This will be along the whole stretch of the road from Weston through to where it meets the A146 at North Cove, meaning the existing A145 which runs into Beccles town centre can be downgraded to a B-road, taking heavy traffic away from the town.

Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw, a town councillor and Suffolk county councillor for Beccles, started the campaign back in January over fears that lorry drivers who rely on sat navs and road signs would still continue to be routed through the town.

Traffic congestion on on Hungate, Beccles. 
Picture: Nick Butcher Traffic congestion on on Hungate, Beccles. Picture: Nick Butcher

She said: “This is fantastic news for Beccles, moving the A-road away from our historic town centre is one of the important measures that will make the relief road a success.

“Reducing heavy goods vehicles and other through traffic will ensure that Beccles will be an even more pleasurable place to live in and visit.”

Construction of the relief road started in August last year, with the £7m scheme due to be completed this summer.

Adrian Simpson-James, Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw and Graham Elliott standing on Hungate, Beccles. 
Picture: Nick Butcher. Adrian Simpson-James, Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw and Graham Elliott standing on Hungate, Beccles. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Mark Bee, Waveney District Council leader and county councillor for Beccles, also gave his backing to the campaign.

He said: “This is clearly good news and I am glad that officers at Suffolk County Council have listened to our concerns and responded accordingly. It is important the correct weight restrictions are put in place and that a full traffic survey is done to get the full value of the road for the town.”

A new residents’ group - the Beccles Road Safety Group - set up to make the streets of Beccles safer and more attractive, also lobbied the council for the changes.

The proposed Beccles Southern Relief Road route. Picture: Suffolk County Council. The proposed Beccles Southern Relief Road route. Picture: Suffolk County Council.

Adrian Simpson-James, from the group, said: “During the month-long campaign I did not meet one person who was not in favour of re-routing the A145 and everyone will be relieved that common sense has prevailed.

“Residents whose homes are shaken by heavy trucks at all hours will heave a sigh of relief when the new road opens; shoppers will enjoy greater peace and safety, less traffic congestion and cleaner air.”

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