Ruffley and new report express new concern about traffic congestion and environmental impact of development on Bury St Edmunds and Ruffley calls summit meeting

Thursday, 1 November, 2007

David Ruffley has today expressed his concern that Bury St Edmunds is suffering from a lack of integrated planning and is not benefiting from the focused strategic planning that other towns in Suffolk have received.

David is backed by the nationally-respected, independent Audit Commission which has recently published its Corporate Assessment Report of Suffolk County Council. In the Sustainable Communities and Transport section of the Report (paragraph 80) it states:

80 The Haven Gateway and Lowestoft projects are examples of co-ordinated and strategic approaches to regenerating areas which involve housing, jobs and transport. However, this is not being applied consistently across the County. Bury St Edmunds is an area identified for significant housing growth but the focused strategic planning taking place for Lowestoft, Felixstowe and Ipswich is not apparent here. The lack of integrated planning means that the environmental impacts of development may not be minimised.

One of the major environmental impacts of the growth of Bury St Edmunds and about which David is particularly concerned is the ever increasing traffic congestion at the A14 junctions at Bury St Edmunds which at peak times have long queues of traffic entering and leaving the A14.

David has written the attached letter to Mike More, Chief Executive of Suffolk County Council, calling for a summit meeting on traffic congestion and demanding to know what the County Council intends to do to address the criticism in the Audit Commission's Report that Bury St Edmunds is losing out on the focused strategic planning that was applied to Lowestoft, Felixstowe and Ipswich.

David said:

'I have expressed concern about traffic congestion in and around Bury St Edmunds to Suffolk County Council, St Edmundsbury Borough Council and the Highways Agency. But now we have it in black and white from the Audit Commission that Bury St Edmunds- an area identified for significant housing growth- is NOT receiving the focused strategic planning that took place in Lowestoft, Felixstowe and Ipswich.

'Bury St Edmunds is the jewel in the crown of Suffolk and deserves a first class integrated planning strategy- and this means getting to grips with traffic congestion. As MP for Bury I am determined to ensure that this omission is corrected as a matter of urgency. This Audit Commission Report backs up my concerns one hundred percent.'