Relief could be in sight in Beccles
The long-awaited Beccles southern relief road is poised to become a reality and residents are being urged to have their say on the scheme in a bid to seal its future.
Suffolk County Council has confirmed that a public consultation on plans for the road will begin on Monday .
Plans for a relief road, which would take lorries out of Beccles and some surrounding roads by creating a new route, have been in the pipeline for more than 20 years.
The scheme will provide a direct link between the A145 on London Road at Weston in the west and the Beccles Business Park and Ellough Industrial Estates at Ellough Moor in the east.
The road will help to reduce traffic congestion in Beccles town centre and will serve as a diversion route for heavy goods vehicle traffic travelling into the industrial estates at Ellough Moor from the A145.
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The county council has said it will significantly relieve Beccles town centre from HGV traffic.
Suffolk county councillor Guy McGregor, portfolio holder for roads, transport and planning said: 'This scheme is an important part of the work that we are doing to help reduce traffic congestion and improve the quality of life for the residents of the town.
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'It is important that the people of Beccles and local businesses have their say on the proposed route and I hope everyone visits the exhibition or goes online, to view the plans and express their views.'
Beccles deputy mayor Alan Thwaites said it is vital that people make their voices heard.
'This is a prime opportunity for people to have their say,' he said. 'We need to strike while the iron is hot, and the iron is as hot as its going to be.'
John Sayer, chairman of the Beccles branch of Save Our Rural Roads, echoed Mr Thwaites view and said: 'The southern relief road is very much needed. We have got to make our presence known.'
Waveney MP Peter Aldous welcomed the consultation and said a relief road is badly needed in Beccles.
He added that the road would boost business and help open up commercial development land opportunities in the Ellough area.
Waveney District Council leader Mark Bee said: 'I very much welcome it. It is something very important for Beccles and Worlingham. I think it is good that the county council has put forward this. It is a move in the right direction and comes on the back of good news about the Beccles Loop.'
The public consultation will begin on Monday and lasts until April 15.
Local residents, businesses and users of the town will be able to see the plans in more detail and express their views at Beccles Public Hall on Thursday March 17 between 12 noon and 7pm, and on Saturday March 19 between 10am and 4pm. Alternatively, the plans can be viewed online at www.suffolk.gov.uk/consultations.
Leaflets are also available from Beccles Library and the Waveney District Council offices on Market Street.