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

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?

Monday, March 17, 2014
2:04 PM

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

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The WaterfrontThe 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.

57 comments

  • Just in case anybody had any remaining doubts that both the town AND the county are run by lunatics? I think one of the questions to ask candidates in the next set of local elections is, "are you obsessed with the so-called "Waterfront". Let's vote out all the idiots who are and elect a council that's interested in the things people in the town care about.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Go to the waterfront, if you like winos bars and err

    Report this comment

    Lee Davies

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • One of the most stupid ideas I have ever heard.

    Report this comment

    RC

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • haha guys, I suggested the train idea for the same route and also from one end of the town to the other... It must have been last year on this very website. I was however thinking more of light rail or tram like system rather than a seaside road train.

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • IpswichTourists. TouristsIpswich. Sorry whichever way you say it , it doesn't make sense.

    Report this comment

    Abraham

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • You know the council hasn't got a clue when they decided to erect a tourist information board on Stoke Bridge. Pity any tourist who finds themselves there! She got one thing right, “I would like to see something done about Carr Street, maybe clear some of the area and create more open space.” Yes, knock it all down and start again.

    Report this comment

    Chris D

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • It would also come in handy to parade those muppet's down at Portman Rd ,,, If they ever get promotion

    Report this comment

    MIGUEL100

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • would love to see how the powers that be expect this thing to get through our wonderful traffic light infested roads.

    Report this comment

    bob

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Scott, you nailed it.

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • what next the Ipswich Monorail,after all it put Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook on the map, but its more of a Bury St Edmunds idea.

    Report this comment

    beerbaron

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • @royg For things to do, you are probably right but most peoples opinion of Ipswich, including mine, is that its a scruffy town full of scruffy people. Sorry if this offends some people but its fact. The Stoke Bridge end of the waterfront is an eyesore so its no wonder it does not attract people down there. The whole waterfront is not the classy place IBC like to tell us it is and Ben Gummer MP is just as guilty. The so called official unemployment rate for the town baffles me. Last November the figure was evidently in the region of 3,189 yet when I am in town (I am semi-retired) I seem to pass that number of people on a daily basis a good deal of which are no where near retirement age.

    Report this comment

    Chris D

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • Gwad almighty!.. A chav train is going to save Ipswich. This just goes to prove the powers in control have finally lost the plot!. Ipswich Waterfront will be a slum in 15 years time, thanks to the "buy to let landlords". Let's sort the fundamentals out ie: empty shops in the town centre due to too high rents, and the traffic management system around the town, that was obviously designed by Stevie Wonder. Not to mention the micky taking car park charges!. Thankfully I only visit the town rarely now. Where are all the so called flag ship business that, IBC keep telling us are chomping at the bit to go there?. Oh sorry had forgotten about Iceland moving into Tower Ramparts (at no doubt a substantial rent free period).

    Report this comment

    soulboy

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • The way to the 'Docks' is St Nicholas Street and St Peters Street a better signing would do, and the rest of the money spend on removing the dated block paving.

    Report this comment

    zaax

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • Why not a Cable Car from the proposed new tower on the Cornhill to the Winerack

    Report this comment

    m01

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • @esco - then just pop in the see the amazing collection of buildings, it's like a mini museum and you can't deny that it is beautiful... then instead go to one of the many other restaurants to eat ;-)

    Report this comment

    Scott Brock

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • LOL nothing in the town, went to bury St Edmunds Monday, such a choice of small shops and bigger ones and it was clean, why oh why come into rundown town and a half finished harbour.

    Report this comment

    KP

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • This idea is incredible in the literal sense of the word.

    Report this comment

    Tamara Knight

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • I can't think of much that is more unappealing than lunch and a beer at Isaacs. Expensive below par food and beer in a plastic cup. I'd put that on a list of things to avoid in Ipswich.

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • Well said Scott Brock. You forgot Cult Cafe bar which is currently featured in Barclays newspaper advertising, Baker and Barista and The Brewery Tap. However a train is a stupid idea. As others have said what is needed is to develop the route vis St Peters and St Nicholas St. Also, has no one else noticed that every town in the UK is suffering empty shops?

    Report this comment

    Pop-pop

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • The mind boggles! Haven't IBC realised that the Waterfront isn't far from the town centre (or what's left of it). Walk down Fore Street past the swimming baths and there's a Pelican crossing. Alternatively walk down Lower Brook Street and use the pedestrian crossings to get to the Waterfront. A few quid spent on decent signs rather than Thomas the Tank Engine is a far more sensible idea.

    Report this comment

    BigGeoff

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • The next train is for Waterfront. Stopping at Poundland, 99p Land, Iceland, another Iceland, QD, QS, Unfinished building, abandoned building site, Unfinished Wine Rack and Isaacs.

    Report this comment

    Ted Maul

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Maybe Jade could be the singing conductor.

    Report this comment

    Lee Davies

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Best laugh I have had since the last suggestion. It could take in the rest of the great sites around the waterfront like the waste site. Take in all the rubbish views in one go

    Report this comment

    Citizen

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • A full size Tram would be better than a Wally Trolly

    Report this comment

    m01

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Perhaps Mrs Harsant was slightly intoxicated when she came up with the idea. Did she start the sentence off with lets be aving you, how about a noddy train. Identify the best walking route for tourists from the waterfront to the town and clean it up and signpost it. I also agree with Scott Brock there is loads to do in ipswich and people that knock it ought to have a look around. We have loads of historic places to visit and if you are not into that then how about the Dove or Briarbank brewery for a couple of drinks and a great atmosphere. Ipswich isn't actually that bad in my opinion try going up t north to some of the old industrial towns where the majority of the population are unemployed and jobs just do not exist you might be glad you live in Ipswich then.

    Report this comment

    royg

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • Ipswich Central talks about a tourist bus from the town centre to the waterfront, but wasn't Ipswich supposed to get a second free shuttle doing exactly that?! Ipswich Buses were to run it. The reason? It wasn't viable. Imagine the ~10 min stroll taking ~40 minutes due to traffic congestion... furthermore if they are doing the Cornhill project still, why would anyone want to go to the waterfront?

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Norwich looked at this years ago (http:www.norwich.gov.ukCommitteeMeetingsNorwich%20highways%20agencyDocument%20Library26Repnhacroadtrain20070111.pdf) and I have never seen one there. But it's interesting that they said they weren't safe to use in pedestrianised areas. Like most of Ipswich town centre?

    Report this comment

    Citizen

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • Waspie'wife..for goodness sake, ordinary shoppers want a decent town to shop in, not betting shops, pound shops and they don't want to traipse distances or ride in toy trains to the Waterfront. Have a bus route yes, if peoole have got time to wander, so they can be warm and dry. I think you either visit the Waterfront or just want to shop in town. Unless you're on a special visit, people dont have time for both.

    Report this comment

    waspie

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Only Geater could make up a story like this....what a dreamer...to think he gets paid to write such utter nonsense is beyond me...

    Report this comment

    Chris Ward

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Liam Dodd - What rubbish! It is exactly that kind of attitude and perception which brings the town down... Nothing to do????? How about Christchurch Mansion and park? the Museum? The Waterfront Gallery? Take a class or show Dance East? A River Cruise on the Orwell? Admire the architecture of over 600 listed buildings including one of the few grade 1 listed modern buildings (WIllis)? visit the many medieval churches? go to the Wolsey? The Regent - the largest theatre in East Anglia? Shop in the independent shops along the Saints? Enjoy lunch and a beer at Issacs? the oldest surviving collection of wool mills in the country, part pub, part museum and with it's own mirco-brewery? Eat crazy icecream sundaes and pick a tune off the jukebox at RaRa's? Go to a free lecture a the University? Take in a major event like Ipswich Music day of the Maritime Festival or Pulse? Or take part in the Skyride or the Ipswich Marathon? - why do some people insist on dwelling on the negative all the time? There's many wonderful things in Ipswich. It's far from perfect and there are many things which could be better but i think some people are ungrateful for things they have!

    Report this comment

    Scott Brock

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • You cannot be serious ! So…. you jump on the diddy train trundle down to the waterfront, look at the boats as you go along, then decide there is nothing there other than a few bars and restaurants, stay on the train and go back to town to finish your shopping. I’d bet that if you were to survey the shoppers of Ipswich that they would wish to shop in the current shopping streets and have them developed rather than having a second separate centre (i.e. the Waterfront), which as far as I can see does not have much room for many new shops or attractions. If the people want the Waterfront to succeed then it should do so under its own steam.

    Report this comment

    Ruddyduck

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • Tourists come to Ipswich?? I had no idea - there's nothing to do or see. You may hear a lot of foreign languages in the town but I'm not sure they're just visiting for a week or two.

    Report this comment

    Liam Dodd

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • The mind boggles! Haven't IBC realised that the Waterfront isn't far from the town centre (or what's left of it). Walk down Fore Street past the swimming baths and there's a Pelican crossing. Alternatively walk down Lower Brook Street and use the pedestrian crossings to get to the Waterfront. A few quid spent on decent signs rather than Thomas the Tank Engine is a far more sensible idea.

    Report this comment

    BigGeoff

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • @esco - then just pop in the see the amazing collection of buildings, it's like a mini museum and you can't deny that it is beautiful... then instead go to one of the many other restaurants to eat ;-)

    Report this comment

    Scott Brock

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • A bit too obvious trolling by the local rag.

    Report this comment

    IanW

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Please NO!

    Report this comment

    another day in the mad house

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Tourist tram? Is there something wrong with the much safer and usual mode of public transport - buses?

    Report this comment

    Mister Cynical

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Well if they weren't laughing at Ipswich before. This councillor has now shown her true colours. Unbelievable suggestion, must of been drunk when she thought of this one. Maybe little Tarquin or jemima helped.

    Report this comment

    Lee Davies

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • And another proof (if any was needed) that our Councillors know about tourist cities like Athens and Luxembourg, but not much about Ipswich itself. "At the moment there is nowhere to even buy a newspaper on the Waterfront" --?? Just step around the corner by the UCS and turn right, and there is a small newsagents - but what would a Councillor know about any part of Ipswich that's not glamorous enough to be photographed at?

    Report this comment

    blue&white

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • April Fools Day seems to have come around a little early this year . . . Though perhaps Clr Newman dressed as a giant bear waving to the traffic as he sails through red lights would possibly be pretty much as per expectations for the council.

    Report this comment

    Mike Hunt

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Why is the world renouned Ipswich underground system not re-instated? Vistors would not have to look at all the empty shops, pound shops, charity shops or tax avoiding coffee shops! They could disembark at Ipswich Dock Central to the full glory of the partially reconstructed wet dock. Those with an active imagination will be able to envisage the holocaust as the end of the world approaches,The propaganda can not blind the reality for Ipswich residents who feel they are bring taken for a ride by IBC and Ipswich Central.

    Report this comment

    Billy Knowbend

    Thursday, March 20, 2014

  • We got ( idiot abroad ) now we got ( idiot in Ipswich )

    Report this comment

    MIGUEL100

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Some of the comment's have had me in stitches ,, At least we still got people living in Ipswich with a good sense of humour ,, but just to had a little more to the Midnight express theory why not add a Water Park ,,, Big Wheel , and a man made beach at the Waterfront ,,, Bueno mi amigos

    Report this comment

    MIGUEL100

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Maybe a 'train' like the one along Felixstowe seafront would fit the bill ?, seriously we are all crying out for a Northern Relief Road and this is all they can come up with ??

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • These tourist trains exist in places that offer a long uninterrupted stretch of ground to run on, e.g. a seafront promenade... that's why they exist mostly in seaside towns!.... But I'm not sure how they would cross the dangerous double car racetrack that is College StreetStar Lane. Pedestrians have the very same problem - and it's a major put-off for people supposed to walk from the town centre to the Docks (oops sorry, "Waterfront") and vice versa. Unfortunately lasting damage was inflicted in the 1960s when our town planners decided that the car was king, and pedestrians were irrelevant.

    Report this comment

    blue&white

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Is it April 1 already?

    Report this comment

    dinosaur detective

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • oh yes look its the tacky train to the half built concrete wine rack how nice.can just see the tourists flocking in lol the only train they would want would be the burrell road one out of town.

    Report this comment

    rumbler

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • Haha, Haha, Haha, Haha, Haha, Haha, Haha, Haha, Haha......oh my aching sides!

    Report this comment

    england1770

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Please make our town more desirable, get rid of the eyesores, chavs and poundshops, then all the rich people will want to move here, my house will be worth a small fortune then I can move somewhere nice.....and hot.

    Report this comment

    C Smith

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

  • New Shuttle Bus (I.B. Service X) will run between the Town Centre every 10 minutes starting on April 5th. Unfortunately it is Saturdays and occasional Sundays only.

    Report this comment

    Baptist Trainfan

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • She's 'avin' a laff? And to think some people in Ipswich actually voted for these local politicians!

    Report this comment

    Driven Roundabend

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • @beerbaron But what about the brain dead slobs?

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Just don't let Greater Anglia run it! (nor First Bus, for that matter)

    Report this comment

    Tractorboy

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • What happened to Mr Geater's Idea from a few years back anyway? Something about a bus service to solve all of society's ills? It was such a good idea I can't remember what it was called.

    Report this comment

    Citizen

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Yet more out of touch propaganda proclaiming the Waterfront as the major asset. That will always be Christchurch Park. How about getting rid of the derelict buildings and walls covered with graffiti to make the Waterfront more attractive. Those are the first impressions visitors have.

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • Ipswich .... you ain't no Athens or Luxembourg!

    Report this comment

    Johnthebap

    Monday, March 17, 2014

  • The mind boggles! Haven't IBC realised that the Waterfront isn't far from the town centre (or what's left of it). Walk down Fore Street past the swimming baths and there's a Pelican crossing. Alternatively walk down Lower Brook Street and use the pedestrian crossings to get to the Waterfront. A few quid spent on decent signs rather than Thomas the Tank Engine is a far more sensible idea.

    Report this comment

    BigGeoff

    Monday, March 17, 2014

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

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