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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Councillor calls for improvements to Suffolk roads

A councillor has written to Suffolk County Council asking for a commitment of funding to improve rural roads.

Deben ward member James Mallinder has requested a task group be formed to look at initiatives to solve problems.

"Enough is enough, and I want to see proper investment to make sure the roads are fit for purpose," he said.

Suffolk County Council said it has earmarked £10m to be spent on improving roads in villages.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Mallinder raised concerns over health and safety for villages with a singular access road.

Commenting on the recent storms, he said: "When a road is flooded or damaged, it becomes really stressful as people get cut off.

"There's a question of health and safety - how do the emergency services get through if the roads are completely flooded for a couple of days? That is a concern."

The councillor has called for re-surfacing, adequate drainage and broken road signs to be repaired.

"I hope some of the recently announced funding by the county council for highways issues will be ringfenced for the Deben peninsula, which is desperately needing an upgrade."

He suspects the needs of rural areas may be "ignored" due to the lower population, adding that past "small repairs" are like a "sticking plaster on a broken leg".

"We need a little task group - with land owners, with the county council, with the environmental agency - working together to solve the issue, to make sure we're ready for the future."

Paul West, Ipswich councillor for operational highways and flooding, said: "While I wouldn't accept we've neglected the smaller roads… we spend our money and allocate it on a needs basis, depending on the state of the roads."

According to Mr West, the council cleared 110,000 of Suffolk's 140,000 drains last year and fixed around 20,000 potholes across the county.

He said the council would take feedback from customers and ensure that drains susceptible to flooding are cleaned on a more regular basis.

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