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Congestion-busting idea for Southwold

PUBLISHED: 09:20 17 April 2009 | UPDATED: 09:01 06 July 2010

A PARK-and-ride service could be set up to ease summertime congestion in one of the region's most popular seaside resorts.

On busy summer bank holidays, the roads in Southwold are often double parked and car parks are full, so now a scheme has been mooted which could see a park-and-ride service set up to cut traffic jams in the town centre.

A PARK-and-ride service could be set up to ease summertime congestion in one of the region's most popular seaside resorts.

On busy summer bank holidays, the roads in Southwold are often double parked and car parks are full, so now a scheme has been mooted which could see a park-and-ride service set up to cut traffic jams in the town centre.

The proposal, which is still in its early stages, would see motorists leave their cars at the Henham Estate, located near the A12 Lowestoft to Ipswich Road just a few miles from Southwold, and be taken into the town by bus.

If the scheme makes it past the drawing board, the park-and-ride would be a commercial service operated by Anglian Bus and Coach with the Henham Estate, and supported by Suffolk County Council.

A county council spokesman said: “We have been working with Anglian Bus and Coach to see whether it would be feasible to have a park-and-ride service, but it doesn't look like it will be feasible this year.

“It would be a commercial service, run by Anglian Bus and Coach, as the Henham Estate have said they would be happy to allow car parking there - it would probably work as part of a two-centre trip with people enjoying the estate as well as Southwold.

“It would not be a council-run service but we would support it. Anything we can do to ease the con-gestion in Southwold would be good for the town and for businesses.”

A spokesman for Beccles-based Anglian Bus and Coach said: “It is in its very early stages. It certainly won't happen this year but we're hopeful it could happen in the future.”

Adele Buckley, administrator for the Southwold and district chamber of trade, said that a lot more detail would need to be provided about the number of buses which might be coming into the town, where they would go and at what times they would be arriving because the narrow streets are not easy for large vehicles to navigate.

She said: “I'm sure the traders in the town would be happy to have a park-and-ride service, subject to more information. The more people we can bring into the town the better.”

The scheme is likely to be discussed by Southwold Town Council later this spring once more detail has been made available.

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