Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 3°C


Ipswich: Could a new tourist train provide a link between the town centre and the Waterfront?

PUBLISHED: 14:04 17 March 2014 | UPDATED: 14:05 17 March 2014

The road train at Marseilles - could a similar idea link the Waterfront to Ipswich town centre?

The road train at Marseilles - could a similar idea link the Waterfront to Ipswich town centre?


A new train could help link the town centre with the Waterfront in a bid to bring more tourists to Ipswich.

The Waterfront The Waterfront

That’s one idea being promoted by new borough opposition leader Liz Harsant as a way of encouraging visitors to the town’s major asset.

And she wants the authority to attract more retailers to the Waterfront – especially small, specialist shops – in a bid to encourage more people into the area.

The ruling Labour administration at the borough is putting its weight behind proposals to link the town centre with the Waterfront.

But it believes that any major new retail development for the town would have to take place away from a new north/south axis – on the former Civic Centre site.

Ipswich Central, which represents businesses operating in the heart of the town, is keen to link the town and Waterfront by improving the streets that link the areas – St Nicholas/St Peters Street, Upper Brook Street and Lower Brook Street, and Tacket Street/Fore Street.

Its aim is for new retail development to be concentrated on these new links, and for investment to be targeted there.

Mrs Harsant said: “We do need to make it easier to get people to go between the town centre and the Waterfront – and to create more permanent attractions for them in the Waterfront.

“There are some very nice pubs and cafes there and the hotel (the Salthouse Harbour) is wonderful. But there should be more small shops – at the moment there is nowhere to even buy a newspaper on the Waterfront.

“People know about the Waterfront, things like Maritime Ipswich are very successful, but there needs to be a draw there all the time, not just one or two weekends a year.”

She had seen small tourist trains carrying tourists around cities like Athens and Luxembourg – and a train had operated in Felixstowe a few years ago.

“If it went from the Cornhill down St Nicholas Street and St Peter’s Street and then along the Waterfront it could be a real attraction for visitors and local people who want to try something different.”

She said it was vital that the borough took an active role in developing the centre of the town – but there needed to be some radical thinking.

“I would like to see something done about Carr Street, maybe clear some of the area and create more open space.”

And the former Civic Centre site might be best used for housing: “We need to concentrate the shops between the town centre and the Waterfront,” she said.

Council leader David Ellesmere said: “We are clear about the need to link up the town centre and the Waterfront and we want to do all we can to achieve that.

“But the DTZ report (into town centre planning) said that the only possible location for a large retail development was the Westgate Centre.

“I think that is probably many years away – there are few large scale town centre developments going ahead anywhere in the country at the present time – but we need to be aware of the situation.”

He said Ipswich Central was already preparing to run a shuttle bus between the town centre and 
the Waterfront, and 
was concerned that any tourist train could conflict with this.

A former Suffolk school pupil has been called up to represent England’s under-20s team in two major international competitions.

Two brothers have been ordered to carry out unpaid work for possessing an air gun in public.

Women’s rights campaigner Helen Taylor, 46, founded Suffolk’s first feminist society in 2016. Reporter Gemma Mitchell has caught up with her to gain her views on gender inequality and how to tackle it.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust is seeking the services of a special volunteer – one who isn’t afraid of the dark.

Hopes of developing through rail services between Ipswich and the south west of England are still being considered – despite fears that a new cross-country rail link may only be for commuter services.

Much of the area of Ipswich, bound by Cauldwell Hall Road, Woodbridge Road and Foxhall Road, is part of the town developed by the Suffolk Freehold Land Society.

The proposed merger of Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils may have been put back by the promise of a referendum in south Suffolk – but the consultation on the future of the authorities continues.

Forecasters have warned of strong winds of around 65mph that are expected to sweep into the county this evening, as a wet and windy night is expected to continue into the morning.

The award-winning writer and star of TV comedy Detectorists has spoken of his love for the “beautiful” Suffolk town where it was filmed and his “mixed emotions” over fans’ reaction to its ending.

Do you remember when The Bobby Charlton Soccer School made a trip to Ipswich over 35 years ago to hold a session at Thurleston High School.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24