An outline business case commissioned by Suffolk County Council to develop a relief road to the west of Sudbury has indicated the project has a strong business case to go ahead.
The work, which follows a review of previous proposals, has shown a relief road west of Sudbury could result in as many as 600 fewer vehicles an hour travelling though the town centre and a 60% reduction in heavy goods vehicles.
This would result in reduced noise and better air quality for those living in the town centre, which is an existing Air Quality Management Area.
The Strategic Outline Business Case, funded in part with £100,000 from New Anglia LEP, also shows the relief road would see a benefit to cost ratio of approximately three, meaning that every £1 invested in the new road would see around £3 of transport benefits.
The aim of the proposed relief road is to address the following problems:
• Congestion in Sudbury Town Centre causing issues for local residents and businesses.
• Congestion through Sudbury causing delay on the Primary Route Network.
• Congestion on the neighbouring Strategic Road Network M11, A12, and A120, for which some traffic could be better served by an improved route through Sudbury.
• Restriction of further growth in the area being restricted by poor connectivity.
In order to move the scheme forward, it is necessary to undertake a more detailed assessment of the environmental and cultural impacts of the proposals, so the full effects and required mitigation can be determined.
The next step will be to seek funding from the Department for Transport and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership to develop a more detailed business case to support a bid for substantive funding from Government to deliver the new road.
Cllr James Finch, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “The release of the outline business case shows just how big the benefits of the Sudbury relief road could be for motorists, business owners and residents.
“This is the first step in a long process and we are aware there are still issues that need to be addressed, but this outline case shows a relief road would cut the environmental issues in the town, particularly the volume of traffic in the town.
“I look forward to working with all our partners including our MP James Cartlidge to pursue further funding from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and the Department for Transport to work on a more developed business case, which will hopefully enable us to receive Government funding to make this road a reality.”
Chris Starkie, Managing Director of New Anglia LEP, said: “Projects like this play a vital role in opening up our region, helping attracting inward investment and retain local talent, as we grow our dynamic economy. This study has shown the importance to Sudbury of relieving congestion which costs our local business time, money and customers.”
James Cartlidge, MP for South Suffolk, said: “I am grateful for the work Suffolk County Council have put in to bring forward this outline business case for a Sudbury relief road. Sudbury is a great town with a genuine community and strong sense of civic pride, but nothing tests that pride more than the regular pounding of HGVs past its priceless historic heritage. For all the technical arguments in this report, and which will inevitably follow its publication, the bottom line is that the people of Sudbury want their town back – back from the HGVs, back from the congestion. This report shows that we now have the credible prospect not only of slashing traffic and lorry volumes through our town, but also of delivering serious economic benefit. Indeed, when you consider the context in the coming years of the multi-million pound revamp planned for Gainsborough’s House and state of the art rolling stock coming to Sudbury railway station, the relief road could complete a new economic dawn for the local area.”