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Government to provide funding for new Ipswich river crossing

14:51 16 March 2016

The Wet Dock Island Site with the site for the proposed new link at the top of the picture, just above the lock gates. Picture by www.skycameast.co.uk

The Wet Dock Island Site with the site for the proposed new link at the top of the picture, just above the lock gates. Picture by www.skycameast.co.uk

Archant

The government is to fund a new crossing over the River Orwell near the entrance to Ipswich’s Wet Dock.

The overall cost of the bridge that could open to allow ships to pass could be as high as £90-£100m once inflation is taken into account, and most of the cost will come from the central government.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer used his budget speech in the House of Commons to confirm that new bridges in both Ipswich and Lowestoft will go ahead.

Both have been estimated to cost a similar amount and the Government is to make £151m available to be shared between the two projects.

The Lowestoft bridge was confirmed by Prime Minister David Cameron during a visit to the Felixstowe on Tuesday.

The announcement means that work can now get underway with planning an exact route for the new road from Cliff Quay to the west bank of the Orwell, probably linking into the Hawes Street/Wherstead Road roundabout.

A survey published at the end of last year estimated that a new bridge would cut more than 25% off cross-town journey times during the town’s rush hours.

It would particularly ease the pressure around the Star Lane area.

The report put the cost of the scheme at £81m at 2015 prices – but said its value to the local economy would be £524m in terms of improved productivity.

It is hoped that work on the project should be able to start within the next two years and the new road could be completed by 2020.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer led the calls for the project to go ahead – which would include a new bridge over the New Cut from Felaw Street to open up the island site.

He said today: “This is an absolutely fantastic day for Ipswich. It is the single most important piece of new infrastructure that the town needs at the moment.

“It will link the town better, release development land for jobs and prosperity in the centre of the town and help us to re-stitch the waterfront to the town centre.

“I firmly believe that we have begun something every special in Ipswich: this bridge will show the world that the renaissance of our town has begun and will help us reach the ambitions that we all know that we can achieve.”

Borough council leader David Ellesmere also welcomed the news: “This is another big investment in Ipswich which shows that our plans for the town are being taken seriously at a national level.

“It would be good to see construction start on of the relatively small-scale works to open up the island site as soon as possible while the detailed design and public consultation around the much more ambitious bridge is undertaken.

“This will enable us to gain the maximum benefit from the Enterprise Zone status we have gained for the island site, bringing new businesses and jobs to Ipswich.”

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21 comments

  • The wet dock crossing will help a tiny section of the town (Star Lane) A northern bypass would be hugely beneficial to the entire town and surrounding area, so which one are we getting? Yes that's right the wet dock.

    Report this comment

    RC

    Friday, March 18, 2016

  • There are lots of observations that Ipswich still needs a Northern Bypass- which I think most people agree is needed. However, this is not even close to being on the political radar at the moment- so people need to fight for it to be. This investment was available with the political will now- and its right is should be taken. At the end of the day, this will relieve some of the traffic around the town-centre which has to be a good thing. If it opens up the island site for development which can be linked the university- then this is also a good thing. Many comments are made about the low-wage perception Ipswich has- an opportunity comes along to provide jobs at the higher end and it doesn't get fully supported. At the end of the day- infrastructure on this scale will always be publicly funded for the best part. If it stimulates an economy then I personally do not have an issue with public funds being used in that way. In regards to land ownership- again- my over-riding concern is the economic success of Ipswich. Landowners will only see a return on their holdings if something successful can be developed so fingers crossed something of value can be developed in collaboration of UCS. On the Northern Bypass however, I do believe an opportunity could be missed from the development of the Northern Fringe to provide a really good contribution to the bypass. Even development on that scale will not pay for much of it, but it really could break the back of it. If people really do want the Northern Bypass- then you have got to fight for it- and this goes beyond just commenting on websites. Rightly or wrongly, if the political powers felt threatened by not supporting the proposals the issue would soon start to gather support- so it is in the people's hands to now put this pressure on!!

    Report this comment

    IpswichBristol

    Friday, March 18, 2016

  • This scheme has nothing to do with congestion. It is merely a device to enable ABP a better chance of developing their land for residential development by enhancing the access to and from it and once again we are paying for this.

    Report this comment

    Peter Turtill

    Friday, March 18, 2016

  • Pretty obvious to anyone with half a brain this will not reduce congestion. Someone said 25%, please.... You only need to look at the routes most people travel and to end up on Landseer road is not helping anyone... Well maybe lorry drivers fed up waiting at the Nacton A14 junction traffic Jam which will now turn off and use this exit causing lots of misery for wherstead road house owners. To sum up....it's money wasted

    Report this comment

    Dark Town

    Friday, March 18, 2016

  • Ithadtobe..I dont support either labour or conservative ..more ukip ideas ..as I want out of Europe , But as you say most will just support the party they like..I will repeat that I have no objection to the island development but it would have been nice to have a choice over yet another bridge..

    Report this comment

    deeber

    Friday, March 18, 2016

  • Deeber we have just read your comments and you are spot on.We have waited over thirty years for a northern bypass , instead we are getting another Orwell bridge. The very small island site which we did not know was privately owned is a complete Red herring.We live in the valley road area and we are inundated with cars ,total gridlock most hours of the day and this is before the northern fringe build and we are all crying out for a northern bypass.

    Report this comment

    Macke

    Friday, March 18, 2016

  • solving traffic problems always seems to be easy to some who disregard the cost. The simple answer is Ipswich has grown a lot, and is still growing, meaning extra traffic on the roads. It doesn't matter whether you ditch traffic lights, build a northern by pass or a wet dock crossing the jams will always exist. The M25 was built to loud applause and soon became a big car park. At least Ben gummer has stood up and done something for our town. Some of the comments seem to imply he is a member of a greedy clan. Greed is a human trait common to many people, including criminals. If you want to get rid of greed you might as well shout into the wind. While I am here 'stein' is defined as a large mug.

    Report this comment

    Black helmet

    Thursday, March 17, 2016

  • It strikes me that the Wet Dock crossing and Northern Bypass do two different things - i.e. the former would relieve local traffic around the Star Lane gyratory while the latter would serve through traffic. I think that there are questions to be asked about the new scheme, in particular the effect on the Cliff LaneGainsborough area; on the other hand, bypass schemes tend to encourage new development "inside" them and so - in the long term - increase traffic rather than reduce it. I accept that issues arise when the Orwell Bridge is closed, also that poor planning has caused frequent congestion in the Ravenswood area; the new scheme will do little to alleviate this. But surely yesterday's announcement (and I am not a Tory supporter) is good news and should be celebrated?

    Report this comment

    Baptist Trainfan

    Thursday, March 17, 2016

  • Surely it won't need to provide access for ships on the New Cut West side? When was the last time a ship sailed down there, 1961? If it's to provide access for a few piddling little hobby boats then it's a waste of money. That section of the river need to be weired off so it doesn't stink to high heaven when the tide is out on a hot summer's day.

    Report this comment

    Gobby

    Thursday, March 17, 2016

  • I like many would love to have seen a northern bypass first . £100 million to unlock an island that has a few sheds and a crane on it ,judging by the picture it looks no bigger than a tesco car park. What a waste of money on a part time bridge and lowestoft are having a third one put in as the other two don't work surely we must learn from that..Should have been the bypass first !

    Report this comment

    Macke

    Thursday, March 17, 2016

  • This is a total waste of money ! It will alleviate a small amount of congestion , that is all. It will open up a small area in Ipswich town and create more jobs and housing , thus increasing the number of people and traffic leading to extra congestion , self defeating imho. It will move traffic around the town differently and at what cost financially , they say £60m but will likely be £80m+. What improvement did the Ipswich Travel £21m make , none. Less building and less housing will help , thats never going to happen . It would be nice to know how many people have moved from Ipswich due to the deterioration , those that can affird to i am sure , thus leaving those who cannot and contributing more to the towns poor wealth demographic another problem altogether

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Thursday, March 17, 2016

  • Great news that the government has recognised that Ipswich needs big infrastructure investment. Normally, too much money goes into London at the expense of the regions. Ben Gummer deserves our thanks and recognition for working so hard to get central funds to our town. I agree, get the professionals in to do it right (Ipswich borough council need not apply - instead, they could get the current gridlock sorted asap by correcting the traffic lights). Now can we focus on lobbying for a high speed rail link to London so that Ipswich has the right infrastructure for success.

    Report this comment

    IpswichRessie

    Thursday, March 17, 2016

  • That's a good point Richie w, I was thinking more about traffic heading home from Felixstowe dock and to from BT. Ben Gummer was on the news last night saying the dock crossing will consist of three bridges, not one, which seems interesting.

    Report this comment

    Black helmet

    Thursday, March 17, 2016

  • Please don't let IBC have anything to do with the drawings and planning of this roadbridge or whatever,or even get their hands on the money for it.Their transport brief is as useless as a chocolate tea pot.You've only got to be in the town to realise this.

    Report this comment

    blowesyboy

    Wednesday, March 16, 2016

  • This is excellent news for Ipswich. Well done to Mr Gummer for getting £75m out of the government for this new crossing. I am sick of seeing the endless queues down Bishops HillDuke StreetFore Hamlet & all round the one way system. This will provide a brilliant economic boost to the town. Bring on the northern link road next please!

    Report this comment

    Jim P

    Wednesday, March 16, 2016

  • My comment is just an opinion, not a statement of fact. I believe that if a Northern By-Pass were to join up at Martlesham roundabout then traffic on the 7 Hills would be relieved. Those heading Eastbound on the A14 wishing to head North currently have to drive over the Orwell Bridge, then through the choked 7 hills. If all those folks had the option of joining a Northern By-Pass in the Claydon area? Then a large amount of traffic would avoid the bridge7 hills area altogether. With the rate of expansion planned for Ipswich then surely this road is needed? Plus of course there is the issue of when the Orwell Bridge is closed, all that traffic heading down Wherstead Hill jamming in the ancient road plan round the docks, would also have another option of crossing the Orwell. Just an idea, as I said just an opinion. I am old enough to remember when the Southern By-Pass was planned, it most definitely had its detractors, now we could not do without it. Anyway that’s my 10p worth. Note: no Ipswich residents or Evening Star Readers were slated in the writing of this comment.

    Report this comment

    richie w

    Wednesday, March 16, 2016

  • Ipswich is so desperate for a whole range of traffic improvements that any news is good news. The cheapest option is this wet dock bridge, The expensive options are a Northern Bypass and an inner express highway along the unused dirty river from Yarmouth Road to the Wet Dock.

    Report this comment

    chantry

    Wednesday, March 16, 2016

  • I think we have to break out of this "either bridge or northern bypass" mentality. The fact is that both are needed. If I'm stuck in traffic on Star Lane a northern bypass is about as much good to me as a southern one. We do need an additional east west route that's actually in the town. I agree that there are some issues about where to join the bridge into the existing road network but it's got to be better than spending the best part of an hour in peak times on Star Lane. As for the Northern bypass, we need to make sure that the development of the Northern Fringe includes provision by the house developers of money and space for a new east west route. So far, that isn't happening, and we (townspeople of Ipswich) need to make our voices heard on that one. But, these are two separate issues. Let's not mix them up.

    Report this comment

    David C

    Wednesday, March 16, 2016

  • richie w

    Wednesday, March 16, 2016

  • All this does is relieve one small part of an over-congested road network. The roads leading to and from it will still be clogged most of the time so it just means drivers will get between traffic jams more quickly. More to do with giving the Little Gummer Boy something to crow about when he needs to get re-elected next time than helping the town out.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Wednesday, March 16, 2016

  • Oh well, that's Ipswich's major infrastructure spending wasted for a generation. By the time we are considered for this level of investment again Ipswich will be totally choked with all the house building coming. Such short-sightedness.

    Report this comment

    McLean

    Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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