December 8 2013 Latest news:
Monday, September 2, 2013
Tower Ramparts bus station in Ipswich is set to close today for two-and-a-half months as major improvement works get under way.
The rebuilding of the town centre bus depot was due to start the day after the Old Cattle Market was finished – but work there is more than three months overdue after underground utilities were found to be not as deep as expected.
Planning chiefs gave the green light to start work at Tower Ramparts at the start of August to reduce disruption over the Christmas period, and have set contractors the task of completing the project by November 15.
Temporary bus stops – highlighted on the map above – will be introduced while the work continues. In another move designed to boost the festive season Suffolk County Council (SCC) revealed they are halting the roadworks under the Travel Ipswich scheme from November 15 – when the Christmas lights are set to be switched on – through until the first week of January.
Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for roads and transport, apologised for any inconvenience caused by the closure of Tower Ramparts but insisted the work was necessary so the town could “enjoy the Christmas period without the disruption of roadworks”.
He said: “We recognise that the run up to Christmas is one of the most important periods for Ipswich businesses. We have therefore reviewed the works being carried out at the bus stations and have asked our contractor to accelerate their programme.
“Of course, this means that we will have to close Tower Ramparts bus station, however provision has been made to relocate bus stops around the town centre.”
Alternative arrangements will be made for passengers to use bus services nearby. There will be marshals on hand at Tower Ramparts over the first week of the closure to assist passengers.
Paul Clement, Ipswich Central’s chief executive, said: “This is a further welcome response to our request that the town’s businesses needed a reassurance that there will be no major roadworks disruption from the Christmas lights switch-on weekend until the New Year.”
David Ellesmere, Ipswich Borough Council leader, said he was happy SCC had recognised the importance of “freeing Ipswich from roadworks” in the run up to the festive season.