I HAVE been very impressed by the quality of debate that we are now getting on the future of the northern fringe in Ipswich.

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While previously there were many people who were taking the view that no development should take place there ever, now most campaigners see that the development will happen and are working to make it as attractive as possible.

The fact that no one is now talking about 5,000 homes in the area helps – 3,500 is a far more realistic figure and could fall even further.

However much more attention needs to be given to the serious traffic implications of the scheme.

If you’re putting 3,500 homes on quite a large site, the density will not be that great. Therefore they will be family homes, most of which will be privately-owned.

The vast majority of those will be owned by people with cars. The residents may use public transport sometimes, but evidence suggests that people who own cars use them.

And the fact is that the people who live on the northern fringe are unlikely to all work in the same place – they are not all going to want to use buses to the town centre.

If they work at Ransomes Europark, Adastral Park, or Sizewell they are going to want to drive there.

That’s going to put more strain on Valley Road or, for those heading east, on the country lanes through Westerfield.

Lower Road and Church Lane in Westerfield might look like idyllic English country by-ways – but they’re already being used as rat-runs by those of us who drive from the north west of Ipswich to the east of the county.

When the Northern Fringe is developed they will be used even more.

I’m not convinced there is any need or political desire for a full Ipswich northern by-pass yet, but the councils involved in the planning of this development do need to look long and hard at the road network and make some big improvements.


  • A northern relief road should be in place before all this proceeds. The junctions on Valley Road are at the limit now in the rush hours.

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    Sunday, December 9, 2012

  • Hopefully Westerfield Station could take the strain a bit. Some of the new families will be people who have moved out of London and they will still be commuting to jobs in London from Westerfield Station. If the service isn't there for them they will drive to Ipswich Station. It seems unlikely those picturesque lanes will remain as they are. Landowners will be forced to sell strips alongside lanes so they can be widened and pavements added. If there are no pavements traffic increases because it is not safe to walk to school or the station. They are planning to build a secondary school in the Northern Fringe will create heavy traffic twice a day unless there are safe, separarted from roads, well lit cycle lanes or pavements. Some families drive even if there are other options provided. I think 3,500 houses is still too many. The change is too sudden. I rue the loss of the green space, wildlife habitat and traffic free fields. Why aren't we using brownfiel sites before we rip up the green?

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    Mrs Evans

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

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