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Melford Road, Sudbury

Have your say on Melford Road, Sudbury, walking and cycling scheme.

This consultation has now closed, and the responses will be reviewed by Suffolk County Council. Thank you for your feedback.

Melford Road forms part of a key route to Sudbury Town Centre for local residents and for people travelling from West Suffolk. The road also provides a link to primary and secondary schools located on nearby streets and to Brundon Lane (which provides a less trafficked route to the south of Sudbury Town Centre).

Suffolk County Council understands the importance of Melford Road as a key gateway to the centre of Sudbury, which is the location for retail, employment, education and health services. However, access to the town centre from Melford Road for pedestrians and cyclists is difficult due to narrow footpaths and lack of cycle path provision. Suffolk County Council would like to address the constraints by delivering a highway improvement scheme that provides better facilities for walking and cycling.

The scheme is one of many active travel improvement projects that the County Council is delivering across Suffolk in a bid to improve provision for walking and cycling.

The proposal

Suffolk County Council is seeking views on its proposal to improve walking and cycling provision on the southern end of Melford Road at the junction with Girling Street and Gainsborough Road.

The proposal includes:

  • widening footways to create a cycle way on both sides of Melford Road;
  • moving the bus stop north of its current location on the west side of Melford Road;
  • installation of tiger crossings – a separate crossing to the existing zebra crossing, which allows for cyclists to cross without needing to dismount;
  • Copenhagen style crossings – a separate path across the junction of York Road and Beaconsfield Road;
  • widening the ‘triangle Island’ to give greater space for pedestrians and cyclists and providing landscaping on the island to create an inviting gateway to the town (consideration is also being made to provide green planting on a small area of the west side of Melford Road)

The proposals for Melford Road and nearby junctions are part of a package of walking and cycling improvements that are being developed across the town to provide a more consistent network for walking and cycling.

Why is Suffolk County Council proposing these ideas? 

Melford Road provides a direct route between residential areas, schools and Sudbury town centre. Although the road works well for cars, it does not provide a good and safe environment for walking and cycling. Suffolk County Council realises that there is a need to reduce carbon emissions but also wants to create a fairer and safe space on the highway for all modes of transport. 

A large proportion of journeys made by car are of a distance that can be made by foot or by bike. Suffolk County Council would like to give a wider transport mode choice to people who are travelling to schools or into the town. What’s more, studies show that people who walk or cycle into an urban area, spend more and stay for longer.

The key elements of the walking and cycling scheme will see:

  • Footpaths widened on both sides of Melford Road, part of Girling Street and on the triangle island - creating enough space for safe segregation between cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Copenhagen style crossings on York Road and Beconsfield Road – which are raised surfaces across junctions, which slow vehicles on entering junctions.
  • Tiger crossing – this will see the existing zebra crossings refreshed and a separate crossing added for cyclists. The crossings will allow for access to different areas of the town centre.

Research has shown that one of the biggest barriers to people for walking and cycling is safety, this means full segregation from cars. Routes must also be direct, rather than requiring an unnecessary lengthening to distances for people who walk and cycle.

Will the scheme have an impact on traffic congestion?

The scheme is not expected to have an affect on traffic congestion. Suffolk County Council is aware that some queuing does occur during morning and evening rush hours. However, the scheme will not remove lanes. The road is wide enough to allow for footways to be slightly widened. Giving people the option to walk and cycle reduces carbon emissions and noise, as well as reduce congestion.

The scheme will also be subject to a Road Safety Audit, which will assess the impact of the scheme. Three safety audits will be undertaken of the scheme and will assess road widths for vehicles, such as HGVs, visibility and layout of the scheme.

Will the removal of the bus lay-by have an effect on traffic?

The removal of the bus lay-by is required to allow for the footpath on one side of Melford Road to be widened to create additional space needed for shared use of pedestrians and cyclists.  This design meets the criteria set out by the Government in the guidance document ‘LTN 1/20’.

There are approximately two buses per hour on weekdays scheduled to stop at this particular stop on Gainsborough Road heading north of Sudbury.  The bus stopping depends on the passengers waiting to board or request to stop at the time and the amount of time that a bus can wait at the stop is a period of 2 minutes. We feel based on this, the impact on holding-up motor vehicle traffic on the road will be low. 

Suffolk County Council is working with Babergh District Council to improve public transport in Sudbury, this includes the frequency of services and places that they will serve.

Will the scheme remove residents' parking?

No. The scheme will not remove residents' parking.


How to have your say

Suffolk County Council is seeking views on the proposed scheme, in particular whether the scheme will improve facilities for walking and cycling and encourage people to walk and cycle for their journeys.

The public consultation ended at midnight on 16 March 2022.

If you have any further queries, please contact Suffolk County Council’s customer service contact centre on 0345 603 1842 or email

Next steps

Suffolk County Council will use the feedback from the public to determine whether the scheme will be delivered and whether further changes should be made to the proposal. If the scheme is given public support, Suffolk County Council will publish the final scheme for information.

Active travel programme