Bus station scheme back by council

A SCHEME to build a new bus station combining both existing ones in Ipswich has been put backed by borough councillors.Ipswich council's executive committee voted for the bus scheme over plans to build a new east bank link road between Ipswich docks and the A14, a new park and ride in Wherstead Road, or improved access to the waterfront area.

A SCHEME to build a new bus station combining both existing ones in Ipswich has been put backed by borough councillors.

Ipswich council's executive committee voted for the bus scheme over plans to build a new east bank link road between Ipswich docks and the A14, a new park and ride in Wherstead Road, or improved access to the waterfront area.

IBC was asked to put forward the most popular out of the four schemes to join other proposals contained in Suffolk County Council's Local Transport Plan bid.

The council will then bid for government money for the major schemes to be developed between 2006 and 2011.


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Martin Cook, portfolio holder for environment and transport, said: "The three existing park and ride schemes in the town seem to hold enough capacity at the moment and therefore I feel this is the least necessary scheme.

"I feel that the bus station plan would be hugely beneficial for us as it is quite confusing for the casual bus user as to where they are catching their bus from.

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"I would like to see the plan developed further to cater for an enhanced waiting system not just in the station but at key points throughout the town."

Transportation manager Stephen Auld said: "It is understood by Suffolk County Council that the east bound link road idea is too costly as it would cost more than the £40m guideline supplied by the government.

"The waterfront green route idea is also deemed too expensive but there are some aspects of it that could be separated and funded in another way."

Inga Lockington supported the idea of a new bus station.

She said: "I think it is about time we got some good bus services in Ipswich. Some of the long distance bus services have bad facilities and I look forward to having a combined bus station.

"I also think we need to look at pedestrian access to where the university is going to be built on the waterfront though. We cannot have students wandering about on dangerous roads."

Although it doesn't specify this in the bid, councillors are looking to move the "county" bus station from the Old Cattle Market site and move it to the site of the surface car park behind Marks and Spencer, near the existing Tower Ramparts station.

The Old Cattle Market bus station could then become a new car park - or be redeveloped completely.

The cost of this scheme has been estimated at £7 million.

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