Residents have been left "exasperated" over "sticking plaster answers" as a flood-prone road that was shut for several weeks at the start of the year was closed once again. 

The A143 Compiegne Way in Bury St Edmunds was closed on Monday morning after the county was hit by torrential downpours on Sunday

Suffolk Highways said the road had to remain closed due to high river levels and was unable to be cleared.

The route reopened later on Monday afternoon.

Compiegne Way was closed from December 31, 2023, to January 25 this year as Suffolk Highways worked to clear flood water from the road. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Compiegne Way when it was closed in JanuaryCompiegne Way when it was closed in January (Image: Charlotte Bond)

Suffolk Highways maintained that the road was its "top priority" while leading West Suffolk councillors branded their efforts a “farce” and residents said it was "not good enough". 

Now, Cliff Waterman, who represents Eastgate ward on West Suffolk Council, where he is leader, said: "It’s come as absolutely no surprise that Compiegne Way is closed due to flooding yet again.

"Residents and businesses in both my Eastgate ward and Moreton Hall are exasperated by the inability of the highways authority to keep this major route into Bury St Edmunds open." 

East Anglian Daily Times: Cllr Cliff WatermanCllr Cliff Waterman (Image: West Suffolk Council)

In January, the county council said its work to fix Compiegne Way had been delayed after vandalism to a control gear at the site. 

However, Mr Waterman said: "That it’s flooded again so soon strongly suggests that it isn’t vandalism that’s causing the problem, it’s the systematic failure to invest in our roads. 

"These makeshift attempts to fix the problem are symptomatic of SCC’s approach to all issues, whether it be failures in SEND provision, removing our West Suffolk archives from Bury St Edmunds or repairing potholes.

"I am now calling on SCC to present a robust plan of investment that will keep the road open. We’re all sick of sticking plaster answers to this problem.

"If the current Conservative administration does not have the strength or determination to sort out the problems they themselves have created through years of underinvestment, they should stand aside and let others who do take the reins," he added. 

Diane Hind, who represents Tollgate ward on West Suffolk Council and is town mayor of Bury St Edmunds, said: "It is beyond belief that Compiegne Way is closed again, and there is clearly an issue when the road is wet even when it isn’t raining.

East Anglian Daily Times: Cllr Diane HindCllr Diane Hind (Image: West Suffolk Council)

"I recently established that they replaced a 3inch pipe with a 4inch pipe but that doesn’t appear to have made any difference at all. In recent years substantial sums have been spent to no avail, and all the while residents and businesses suffer.

"One has to question the competence of the county council who have failed to maintain the road correctly. Bury deserves better, and a permanent solution must be found."

East Anglian Daily Times: Cllr Peter ArmitageCllr Peter Armitage (Image: West Suffolk Council)

Meanwhile, Peter Armitage, who represents Moreton Hall ward on West Suffolk Council, asked what the 'long-term plan' was for remedying the situation, warning that it will happen again if action is not taken. 

"This is what happens when you don’t invest in infrastructure," he added. 

And Rowena Lindberg, who also represents Moreton Hall, said: "The residents on the Moreton Hall are particularly affected by an increase in heavy goods vehicles having to reroute through the estate.

"We need Suffolk Highways to explain to the people of Bury St Edmunds what they intend to do in the long term to fix this major problem." 

A Suffolk Highways spokesman said: "Following further heavy and persistent rainfall, Compiegne Way was closed on Sunday afternoon due to flooding.

"The drainage pumps and river levels were inspected and a tanker attended to assist with clearing the floodwater.

"The river levels were found to be too high for the pumps to manage the water. However, following further inspection, the road is now clear of water following the river levels reducing.

"The road will reopen later today once the road has been swept of debris." 

A number of flood warnings and alerts were issued for Suffolk on Monday.