Ipswich: Traffic lights set to go as town centre developments get under way

Queen Street, Ipswich Queen Street, Ipswich

Friday, April 4, 2014
6:00 AM

Parts of Ipswich town centre are set to get a new look in a bid to improve their image – and the changes will even see the removal of a set of traffic lights!

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Princes Street and Queen Street are to be paved from Giles Circus – Queen Street will link into the paved area of St Nicholas Street and St Peter’s Street leading to the Waterfront.

At the other end of the town centre, demolition work has started on a row of derelict shops in Upper Orwell Street.

The site is next to waste ground, and the area is to be landscaped by the borough with flower beds until the whole Cox Lane/Tacket Street area is redeveloped at some point in the future.

The Queen Street/Princes Street work will not be full pedestrianisation – cars and lorries will still be able to use the route as they do in St Nicholas Street – but the county council is confident this will not be a major issue.

Cabinet member for transport Graham Newman said: “Our traffic surveys show that even at the busiest time of the day there are only 52 vehicles an hour using those streets, that is less than one a minute.”

Businesses in both the streets need access for delivery vehicles – and there are parking spaces for blue badge holders in Princes Street.

Traffic orders for the changes will be published within the next few weeks, and the final go-ahead is expected to be given in June – however there could be an indefinite delay if there are objections requiring a public inquiry to be held.

If the work is approved then, it will be carried out in two stages. The first section will be paved between August and November and the second street will be done between January and March next year.

One element that should be welcomed by drivers and pedestrians will be the removal of the traffic lights at the Queen Street/Falcon Street junction.

They will be replaced by a zebra crossing and slower traffic on the paved streets should ensure it is safer for both vehicles and pedestrians to use the junction.

Meanwhile at the other end of the town centre, demolition work has started on a block of derelict shop buildings that have blighted Upper Orwell Street for many years.

The shops are on land that was earmarked to be redeveloped as the Mint Quarter, but work has never started.

One of the shops was owned by the borough and the rest were owned by NCP. Now a deal has been agreed with the landowner for the borough to demolish them and establish a landscaped area until the whole area is redeveloped.

The scheme is being funded by the borough’s central area committee, whose chair Julian Gibbs said it should improve a notoriously scruffy area of the town.

He said: “I think everyone will be pleased to see those buildings come down. Once the area is cleared it will be planted, hopefully in May, and should look much better than it does at present.

“This is the kind of thing area committees can do – we were able to improve the St Matthew’s area and now there is this work – it should make a real difference to the town.”

24 comments

  • Obviously I don't know how funding has been worked out for the Upper Orwell Street demolition. But I very strongly suspect (from earlier conversations I have had with them) that NCP are paying for at least some of it.

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    Baptist Trainfan

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Do away with traffic lights at Queen Falcon Streets- many pedestrians use this crossing to walk to Football, who is going to stop to allow them to cross the road, sounds a bit like we will be having to take our lives in our hands at another crossing!!!

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    Footyfan

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • David, David, David. When you run your own business you can be flexible. I have this thing, a device, called a smartphone.. 'phablet' if you like. I don't have to be behind a computer 247 to comment. Like most people commenting on this website, as a local I periodically check for news... can you believe it? news on a news website - granted Ipswich Star is a bit slow and much of it is non-news. Its a shame you cannot justify yourself with adding a comment of any substance... its also not a username, strictly. I do not use it to login to the site. *************** Scott... its not a pleasant environment if on walking to the waterfront you got some impatient driver wanting to go the car park.. and the fumes! The waterfront is not special... its a 25 year old project that only took off when we got the University. Hence the flats - some were there before. Despite this its half derelict. You can blame the recession.. its a very small area of land around the wet dock, can it really take over 30 years to be complete? I wasn't aware Norwich had a waterfront (other than the nightclub of the same name) just a river - well 2 rivers. *************** Ipswich Waterfront has potential, indeed, however there are so many quays, wharfs, marinas, seafronts and even rivers, all over the place including in other parts of Suffolk. Economically speaking (as things stand) the waterfront produces no significant income beyond locals. People do come here from far and wide but buying a coffee and a bite to eat or dining once a quarter isn't comparable to say retail like in the town centre once a month or every week. The waterfront wont reach its full potential until the bad parts such as the wine rack are gone. *************** I think your last sentence is spot on, but that cannot be achieved without full scale remodelling of the town road structure. There is also an old church in the way. Its not about linking the two areas... they know the town centre cannot be saved, they want to switch focus to the waterfront. Traditionally all towns default attraction is the market or shops - the council wants to focus on leisure. Except the minor exceptions of 3 car parks and 2 bus stops... it doesn't have the infrastructure that the town has (quite understandably). *************** So they want to find a way of moving people from the town (primary destination) who got there by car (in car parks), taxi or bus (two bus stations)... to the waterfront (secondary destination)... but people aren't going there in numbers. So they are trialling a Saturday bus service to encourage people to the area... but they have forgotten a major transport hub to the town... the railway station. No plans to direct people from Ipswich Station to the waterfront... its walking distance but many would get lost on their first attempt (unless using a map). Ipswich Buses are not doing this despite the branding on their buses as they do not see it commercially viable. They wouldn't run the Saturday service from the rail station as it would be competing against various of their other routes. *************** The sole reason why there isn't even an infrequent bus service to the waterfront or a small transport hub, is disregard the university and the associated flats... what are you left with? Dance East.. Old Custom House, Salthouse Harbour Hotel, Issacs... and derelict buildings. All great in their own right (except the latter) but nothing to shout home about.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Traffic lights aren't set to go they are staying there! The heading should have been. One set of lights to be removed. Those aren't even the frustrating, annoying ones I never even drive through there to get in and out of town in fact so it will be no benefit to me like many others I suspect.

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    IpswichResident

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Everything is done on the cheap & nasty these days. You get what you pay for - no doubt contractors put in very low bids to get the work in the first place, then use the cheapest materials and do the shoddiest work so as to make a profit still. Some of the brand new paving slabs laid down at Tower Ramparts bus station are already cracked.

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    blue&white

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Reading the headline, I thought it was a late April Fool's joke!

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    Robotix

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • traffic lights to go--can this be the 1st signs of sanity creeping in? can we hope that someone will, before not too long,hit on the idea of installing a roundabout at the bottom of civic drive

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    al

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Obviously I don't know how funding has been worked out for the Upper Orwell Street demolition. But I very strongly suspect (from earlier conversations I have had with them) that NCP are paying for at least some of it.

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    Baptist Trainfan

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Good Idea royg, Flattening the whole of Upper Orwell Street looks good to me.

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    m01

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Actually this sounds like a good idea. Princes street and Queens street are ugly streets and pedestrianisation of these streets will improve the area. Also knocking down the derelict shops on Upper Orwell Street well it's about time in fact they should demolish the whole street as it's a real blight on this area. They could offer the few businesses still there cheap rates in the town centre and knock the lot down. Well done IBC or SCC or whoever thought of it a decent idea for once instead of some of the harebrained schemes of late.

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    royg

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • @ Ipswich Entrepreneur. Despite claiming that you run a business you do appear to be able to find one heck of a lot of time to comment on this site and a lot of your comments are meaningless ramblings with very little substance. You hardly justify your user name.

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    David White

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Hang on, what? The traffic lights on a junction are going to be replaced by a zebra crossing. Who gives way to whom then? It's a four-way junction!

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    Ted Maul

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Three points. One... I have an office in Princes Street, despite re-routing a lot of the buses away and blocking access near Friars Street, during weekdays there is a lot more traffic than a 52 per hour average. There normally is queues during office hours... some people get dropped off into town there by car or taxi, some go to the bank, disabled parking etc It certainly has been reduced significantly since Travel Ipswich *** Two... NCP owned an entire row of shops except one... no wonder why that part of town was a complete sh*th*le! NCP is a car park operator, they wanted the area to deteriorate to increase the value of their land ownership when it is sold on for redevelopment. Nothing illegal there of course. You have to give a clap to IBC, but its long overdue. *** Three... The access to the car park near Willis Building (Cromwell Square) is through St Nicholas Street - so the councils desire for a pedestrianised thoroughfare from town centre to waterfront is never going to happen. Therefore, if you hate Ipswich being the waterfront town and want the council to stop wasting time and money trying to portray the town as that, especially the absence of any infrastructure connecting both, OBJECT to these plans!!! *** The ONLY transport link between the old town and new town (waterfront) is a newly announced Saturdays only bus service. There is pavements but there is no dedicated pedestrianised road linking the town to the waterfront. Furthermore, there is no direct road to-and-from and no council buildings at the waterfront.There is no retail neither. *** Ipswich should stand out from the rest by its HERITAGE (face it we have nothing else going for us) - we have a big claim to being the oldest continuously settled town in the country... lets face it, every great town and city in the world is built up around a river or has a seafront... its nothing special. Instead we bow down to Colchester and join forces with our museums which basically has destroyed any hope of adopting a similar slogan. Alternatively I have no objection to creating a small moat around the town hall and extending the River Orwell up from the wet dock to the town hall, if they want to keep such a slogan.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Missed opportunity- anything is better than nothing but I prefer people to cars so would have rather full predestination. That road goes nowhere and serves no purpose other parking for estate agents.

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    IanW

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

  • "Princes Street and Queen Street are to be paved from Giles Circus – Queen Street will link into the paved area of St Nicholas Street and St Peter’s Street leading to the Waterfront."............ Can we make sure this time that the paving that is laid down is fit for purpose this time? Driving down St Nicholas St now is just as bad as a dirt track for all it's potholes and subsided areas!

    Report this comment

    evilweazel

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • traffic lights to go--can this be the 1st signs of sanity creeping in? can we hope that someone will, before not too long,hit on the idea of installing a roundabout at the bottom of civic drive

    Report this comment

    al

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Poor old Ipswich. This really is one of the crummiest towns in the UK.

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    PC Plod

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • @Baptist - yes i believe NCP are paying some of it too. You can see the minutes of the Committee meetings on IBC website and I'm sure they said they agreed both to contribute. Here's hoping they do more of this. Sites like the old B&Q being turned into grassland would be nice. It's definitely a good idea.

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    Scott Brock

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Poor old Ipswich. This really is one of the crummiest towns in the UK.

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    PC Plod

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • Poor old Ipswich. This really is one of the crummiest towns in the UK.

    Report this comment

    PC Plod

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • The problem with this as I understand it is that the roads are being paved but no restriction being placed on the traffic. This is what happened a Giles Circus and it just seems to make everyone confused and to who has right of way and make the whole area unsafe for pedestrians.

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    Pop-pop

    Saturday, April 5, 2014

  • Poor old Ipswich. This really is one of the crummiest towns in the UK.

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    PC Plod

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • @Ips Ent - the road is still open to traffic so what's your point? And creating pedestrian links to the waterfront does not mean limiting access to cars. It means creating a pleasant environment for pedestrians and a clear route to get there. That is why this proposals are a good thing. As for the waterfront not being special? Are you kidding? whilst it may be true a lot of towns have areas of waterriverside there are few that can claim to have something has nice and with the scale of Ipswich waterfront. Especially regionally. Norwich waterfront is pants in comparison. It's a huge selling point for the town. HUGE. Joining the dots between the two does make sense.Whilst they both need to retain their identities they are so close to each it would be silly not to try and link them more effectively.

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    Scott Brock

    Friday, April 4, 2014

  • I can see the benefit to NCP if the shops are no longer in use but why are rate payers having to fund the demolition? I assume business rates are currently paid on these shops so I hope someone has found a way of securing funds from NCP to cover this improvement and ongoing maintenance costs. Perhaps the council should have purchased the shops at their current value (low) and therefore get rewarded if the area ever gets developed. Alternatively they could buy enough of the whole site to build a full size bus station.

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Friday, April 4, 2014

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

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