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Campaign group voices fears over traffic impact of Upper Orwell Crossings on Cliff Lane in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 13:29 11 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:41 11 May 2018

Residents in Cliff Lane are campaigning against the Upper Orwell crossing, worried that drivers will cut through their road to get to north Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Residents in Cliff Lane are campaigning against the Upper Orwell crossing, worried that drivers will cut through their road to get to north Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A campaign group in Ipswich has urged bosses behind the Upper Orwell Crossings scheme to consider the traffic impact in Cliff Lane after warning it will become a busy thoroughfare.

The River Action Group was formed around two weeks ago, and yesterday morning gathered outside Cliff Lane Primary School during rush hour to highlight concerns over the traffic impact the crossings will have.

Campaigners said it would lead to more traffic along Cauldwell Hall Road and Cliff Lane, turning those residential routes into a “busy thoroughfare”.

They also pointed to estimated traffic levels of 1,000 cars per hour and suggestions the road could be a tactical diversion for when the Orwell Bridge closes as “crazy”.

Matthew Thomas, chairman of the group, said: “What we are going to see is the road getting a lot, lot busier.

“At times like this when you have parents dropping off kids at school, and you have lots of events in the park, that will make it worse.

“What we have seen is a plan that will transform a quiet residential area into a major thoroughfare.”

More than 20 concerned locals gathered for the demonstration yesterday morning, including Ipswich borough ward councillor for Holywells Liz Harsant.

“I am going to support this group wholeheartedly and actually fight against the bridge unless the county council can come up with some solutions as to how they are going to deal with traffic.”

Campaigners said they were not necessarily against the development if it had the right solutions in place to address traffic concerns.

Other issues raised were the effect it would have on house prices, the safety of children heading to the school, the impact on the wildlife corridor at the end of the road, influence on air quality and the ability for people to park around Holywells Park.

Paul West, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for Ipswich joined the group to hear their concerns.

He said: “I think what they are saying is perfectly reasonable – people are putting forward the concerns of their community and the balance the county council has to deal with is getting the benefits of the project that will be felt by everybody in Ipswich but mitigating any negative impact that might arise.”

“We have been releasing information to the public when it becomes available, so that’s perhaps why people feel they don’t have that [complete picture].”

Mr West added that he urged people to share their concerns during the consultation period which will happen later this year, which will be considered by the Planning Inspectorate when the application is up for discussion.

The group can be contacted by email here.

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