Christmas and Cattle Market concerns: Ruffley calls meeting with Bury St Edmunds retailers

Monday, 11 December, 2006

David Ruffley MP has today written to Councillor John Griffiths, Leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, asking what is being done to address a number concerns raised by local shop owners and traders in Bury St Edmunds.

David has been contacted by local traders concerned over:

• A lack of central car parking in the town- on Saturday 2 December car parks in Bury St Edmunds were full to capacity.

• Access to the Town Centre is being made more difficult due to the Cattle Market development.

• The temporary toilet facilities in Nelson Road are too far from the shops for the elderly, disabled and parents with young children.

David will be meeting with shop owners and traders in Bury St Edmunds on Wednesday 20 December to discuss these and other issues.

David said:

'Local shop owners and traders are concerned that their trade will suffer due to any disruption caused by the Cattle Market development.

'I have the utmost confidence that St Edmundsbury Borough Council will do everything in its power to ensure this is not the case.

'Therefore, I have today written to the leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Councillor John Griffiths, relaying the concerns of local retailers and asking what steps his council are taking to address them.

'We must do everything in our power to support independent shop owners and traders who are the very lifeblood of what makes Bury St Edmunds unique.

'In Bury St Edmunds we are lucky enough to have some fantastic independent shops including award winning retailers such as Marchant's Cookware and Trotter and Deane. People who are prepared to put their own money into making Bury St Edmunds more successful deserve our recognition and support.

'There are a number of issues facing the town, in particular the issue of car parking and access to the town centre.

'We need to look at what can be done to tackle these problems. In the long term this may be a permanent park and ride scheme for the town. In the short term the new VMS system should direct people to available car parking and during busy periods, such as Christmas, temporary schemes such as the park and ride from Moreton Hall and Bury St Edmunds Town Council's 'hop-and-shop' bus can be employed to remove some of the strain.

'I intend to work closely with St Edmundsbury Borough Council to ensure that we have the best possible retail environment during the construction of the Cattle Market development and I look forward to its completion and seeing Bury St Edmunds grow into an even more exciting and prosperous town.'