Business welcome for crossing over lock at Ipswich wet dock

The lock gates in Ipswich - where the new crossing could be built.

The lock gates in Ipswich - where the new crossing could be built. - Credit: Archant

Proposals for a new crossing over the Ipswich Wet Dock lock and New Cut have been backed by the town’s business community at a special presentation at Trinity Park.

However they did make it clear that the crossing should be seen as a wider programme to improve traffic flows around the town centre and improve the heart of Ipswich generally.

Business leaders from across the town attended an event at Trinity Park where MP Ben Gummer and John Noble from consultants WSP/Parsons Brinkerhoff outlined the proposals for the crossing – and its benefits for the town.

There was a general welcome for the proposal – but it was made clear that it should only be seen as part of the solution to problems with the town centre’s growing congestion problem.

Other solutions would ultimately have to be found alongside the new crossing – including, eventually, a new road to the north of the town.

However those at the meeting did welcome the fact that the town had put forward an ambitious scheme that would catch the eye – and be a clear statement that the town is determined to invest in the future.

Mr Gummer said: “It was good to hear positive feedback about the proposals. We now have to get on with the report – about 50 people in total are involved in preparing it.

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“We hope to have the draft report in November and the final document in January or February next year.”

The report has to be with the Chancellor of the Exchequer well in advance of the budget next year – at which point he is due to say whether the scheme will get government funding.

Mr Noble said: “The general feeling about the proposal is positive – but there are various issues that we have to overcome and there are significant obstacles, particularly the lock.”

Ensuring that a new bridge over the lock remains open is likely to be a major issue. There could be a need for two bridges to be built, one at either end of the lock, to ensure that the new road does not have to close for 30 minutes or more every time a boat goes in or out of the Wet Dock to either of the town’s marinas.

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