MPC(23)123.01 Report from County Councillor Nicoll

Agendas & PapersFull Council Uploaded on December 20, 2023

I led the SCC contingent at the recent meeting hosted by Chris Bally, CEX of ESC, alongside councillors and officers from ESC and several PCs who are members of the group looking at the traffic implications of Bentwaters, especially involving HGVs and large agri vehicles.  The afternoon session went into all the issues in great detail, and we are now waiting for next steps to be agreed by all involved and a practical programme for implementation. Beyond Bentwaters and leaving aside the disaster, in traffic and other terms, threatened by Sizewell C, the session also looked at residential and commercial planning more widely and called for better thinking around the transport implications of larger planning applications.

I suggested to MPC a few weeks ago that, as Suffolk Chair of our Enhanced Partnership under Bus Back better, there is some funding to be bid for to seek improvements in bus and bus related infrastructure.  Subsequently a meeting, hosted by MPC, chaired by Cllr Bann and involving WTC, Cllr Ruth Leach and myself, considered whether a bid should be lodged by the 20 December deadline and what would be proposed to try to win limited funding. I told the meeting that PCs and TCs across Suffolk would be bidding and regardless of the quality of submissions some applicants would be disappointed.  It was agreed to seek funding for some deliverables, such as real time bus information and better bus shelters, which could be easily costed and would, hopefully, contribute to higher usage of existing public transport (Inc via the two rail stations in Woodbridge and Melton).

In a continuing spirit of cross-Division co-operation, Cllr Leach and I have been working to keep up pressure on Cadent, via SCC, to expedite their works currently restricting traffic on the A12 south of the ‘Dobbies’ roundabout which is hugely increasing the volume of vehicles, of all sizes, attempting to move north or south via Woodbridge and Melton.

Finally, I have offered £3,000 towards the Beresford Drive playground proposals and the funds should be available early next year.  Can I wish everyone involved in running MPC a happy Christmas and peaceful start to 2024.