Businesses consulted on benefit of Ipswich Wet Dock Crossing

Ipswich Waterfront. Photograph Simon Parker 6/5/2014

Ipswich Waterfront. Photograph Simon Parker 6/5/2014 - Credit: Archant

A consultation is under way with companies in Ipswich to find out how the proposed Wet Dock Crossing would affect business.

The responses will be drawn into a business case that will be assessed by the Government when Chancellor George Osborne’s 2016 Budget is prepared.

Ipswich and Suffolk Chambers of Commerce has been commissioned to carry out the business consultation by Suffolk County Council.

The proposals for the Wet Dock Crossing were unveiled by Ipswich MP Ben Gummer last October. It would include two swing bridges over the two lock gates and a fixed bridge across the New Cut.

Mr Gummer said: “We are working up a proposal at full speed. It is probably the quickest infrastructure design project that’s ever happened in the region.

“We are working out how this bridge will work and at the same time we are talking to businesses about what they want to see from this bridge and that will involve businesses that are directly affected on either side of the bank and the island site.”

Mr Gummer said he would be putting in a submission to the Government in November and then another full submission after the new year in the hope of getting further funding in the next Budget.

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“People are very excited about it; businesses around the town realise why it is important and also residents get why it will help relieve congestion around the Star Lane gyratory,” he added.

In the consultation, businesses are being asked various questions on how they are currently affected by the limited road crossing around the dock, and what impact the proposed bridge would have on business growth, employment and turnover. This will allow engineering and planning consultants WSP/ParsonsBrinckerhoff to shape an economic case for the crossing.

A spokeswoman from Nwes, the company that manages the Suffolk Enterprise Centre in nearby Felaw Maltings, said: “We believe the addition of the Wet Dock Crossing would be a great asset to the town along with the renewal of the Waterfront. It would continue the regeneration of the area, link the town and cut congestion.”

Mr Gummer has previously said there would be three benefits to the scheme. It would enable the development of the Island Site as a hi-tech centre linked to University Campus Suffolk, it would ease traffic pressure around the Waterfront, especially the Star Lane/Key Street area, and it would enable the town centre and Waterfront to be linked more easily.

A meeting is taking place tomorrow morning at Trinity Park for businesses to find out more about the proposals.

Mr Gummer and representatives from WSP/ParsonsBrinckerhoff will be there.

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