Illegal Reopening of New Market on Thursday 8th October 2020
Beccles Town Council is aware that New Market was illegally reopened to traffic last night. This reopening was not carried out by Beccles Town Council and did not have the permission of Suffolk County Council, which is the highways authority. It appears that the planters were moved overnight and were damaged in the process.
Whilst the experimental traffic order is to be discussed at a town council meeting later this month, it is still in effect and New Market remains closed until this order is officially modified or removed. Therefore the road will be re-closed as a matter of urgency on public safety grounds and temporary barriers will probably have to be used to achieve this given the damage caused to the planters.
It currently may not be possible to hold the weekly Friday market which always draws shoppers into the town with visitors supporting the town’s businesses at the same time. New Market is still officially closed to traffic and therefore anyone parking in this area risks a parking fine for being illegally parked.
The criminal damage and breaches of the traffic order committed by those that illegally removed the planters and barriers have been reported to Suffolk Police. This highly irresponsible action is very serious as it is in contravention of the current order and represents safety issues on both road safety and potential risks to public health relating to the ongoing pandemic. If you have further information on this, then please report it by calling 101.
Beccles Town Council has agreed a proposal to amend the current order and appreciates that a number of weeks have passed since that resolution, but it needs to be understood that it is not the straightforward process some may think, potentially involving significant costs, and that a clear legal process has to be adhered to for the safety of all.