The Bus station: more thoughts

The Sudbury Society is appreciative and supportive of the efforts being made to re-site the Bus Station which is crucial for the development of the Hamilton Road area and for the future of Sudbury as a thriving market town. The Society believes that these plans must be high quality and cohesive, not piecemeal, and provide part of a vision for the whole town.

There are two proposals under consideration: a bus station in Girling Street or a bus area on Great Eastern Road and Girling Street. The latter has been most unpopular with bus users, who ask how will bus services connect to ensure that people can change buses easily, especially the elderly and those with shopping trolleys, luggage, baby buggies and children in tow?

Girling Street presents several problems. First buses will have to negotiate the one-way traffic system to reach it, adding to the traffic in the town with all its attendant delays, congestion and pollution. Second, almost 80 parking spaces will be lost. The town cannot afford to lose these. A Girling Street bus station may generate another (much smaller) source of shoppers but the loss of parking will impact on our local traders (many of whom are independent) as well as the Chilton Woods proposals and the proposed retail development in the Hamilton Road area. If the town centre is to be expanded then parking provision must be extended to match. One of Sudbury’s attractions is three hours free parking, but that will be negated if there is nowhere to park and the roads are clogged by buses.

If the new retail/entertainment development is intended to attract visitors and encourage them – and of course our residents – to shop locally, then bus use must be easy for everyone.

Apparently bus station provision has now been reduced from 6 to 4 spaces which may open up other options not yet examined. The Society looks forward to a well-considered decision made for the benefit of all.

Lorna Hoey

Chair, The Sudbury Society