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Plans for three lanes in Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, to get green light – but 20 weeks of disruption will follow

PUBLISHED: 17:15 06 March 2018 | UPDATED: 08:43 07 March 2018

Felixstowe Road, Ipswich.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Felixstowe Road, Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Plans to create a third lane in Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, are set to be given the green light tomorrow in a bid to tackle congestion – but motorists face 20-weeks of disruption while it is made.

Sandy Martin, Ipswich MP, said he was not convinced by the plan. Picture: SEANA HUGHES Sandy Martin, Ipswich MP, said he was not convinced by the plan. Picture: SEANA HUGHES

Suffolk County Council’s development and regulation committee will meet this morning, where a traffic management order has been recommended for approval.

It proposes to widen the existing footpaths by removing the grass verges, and move the cycle lanes onto the pavement.

The pedestrian islands will then be stripped out to create a third lane of traffic in the stretch of road between the Warren Heath Sainsbury’s and the roundabout by St Augustine’s Church. It is understood two lanes will head towards Ipswich town centre and one will head towards Nacton.

A county council spokeswoman said: “We are proposing this work as part of a programme of improvements to ease congestion at key junctions in the town.

“At committee the proposed traffic regulation order to prohibit the right turn and to remove part of the mandatory cycle lane will be considered.”

“Provided approval is granted, the works are planned to begin after the Suffolk Show and will last for approximately 20 weeks.”

If the order is granted, it will mean the cycle lanes on the roads will be revoked, and vehicles heading along Felixstowe Road towards town centre will not be able to turn right into the delivery entrance for the Sainsbury’s store.

A letter from Suffolk Highways in response to an objection as part of the proposals said that while the scheme was for Felixstowe Road, it is “proposed at a future time to extend these improvement works along Bixley Road”.

Bixley Road, Ipswich.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Bixley Road, Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

However, the work will mean motorists will face around 20 weeks of travel disruption.

It has been scheduled to begin after the Suffolk Show, so as not to impact on travel to the event.

Despite the plans being lodged as a measure to improve traffic, Ipswich MP Sandy Martin said he was not convinced.

“I am not sure to what extent it will ease congestion,” he said.

“The interesting thing is putting in additional lanes for traffic does not reduce the amount of traffic – it makes extra space for traffic to go into at that location.

“If it leads up to a junction that remains the same junction it doesn’t help at all.”

Mr Martin said both roundabouts were already operating at capacity, and added that he was concerned removing the cycle lane would make it more dangerous for cyclists.

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