Popular food van rallies against 'nightmare' proposed lay-by restrictions

A group of Ipswich Town football fans stopping at Macs before the game

Ipswich Town fans have rallied around the food van's cause - Credit: Macs on the Bridge

Plans to introduce restrictions at the Wherstead Road lay-by would make business "unviable" for a popular Ipswich food van, according to its owners. 

When a notice went up on a post near Macs on the Bridge, it was the first that Samantha McNally and her husband, who own the food van, had heard of plans to restrict cars using the lay-by. 

Suffolk County Council stated its intention to introduce 'no waiting at any time' restrictions on both sides of Wherstead Road opposite and around the point of access to Bourne Park. 

The 30-minute limited waiting bays could also be removed.

A group of Ipswich Town football fans stopping at Macs before the game

Ipswich Town fans have rallied around the food van's cause - Credit: Macs on the Bridge

Speaking about the impact these new restrictions would have on the business, Mrs McNally said: "At the moment it's a half-hour wait restriction.  

"People come and some stay and eat on-site if we have nice weather and some just come and pick it up and then go. 

"We get a lot of trade really early morning, people in the construction industry who just come and grab their breakfast and they've been coming to Macs for years. 

Most Read

"If this was introduced we wouldn't be a viable business. 

"We might get the odd people who are walking by, but it wouldn't be worth it to open. 

Macs on the Bridge is a food truck on Wherstead Road

The food van has been operating on Wherstead Road for decades but business may now be at risk - Credit: Macs on the Bridge

"And it's not just about customers. We have fresh deliveries of bread and bacon every day because all our food comes in fresh, and those would be impacted. 

"We can't even move the van as there's tarmac around it and there are bollards. It's kind of part of the bridge. 

"We've owned it for about four years - and two of those being during Covid were a real pain.  

"But the van itself has been there something like 28 to 30 years. 

"We took it over and managed to upgrade it and we've finally got it just as we want it - and now this. 

"It's just a nightmare. We finally get back on our feet and are hit with this." 

A spokesman for Suffolk Highways said: "The Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) notice was issued to give businesses and residents the opportunity to comment or object to the proposals.

"The proposals are for a new pedestrian crossing which is to be provided by the new development - Klondyke Field, west of Bourne Hill, Wherstead.

"The deadline for comments is February 15 2022.

"Once we have received all comments/objections, we will work with Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council as the planning authority on reporting the findings and these will include the comments made by local businesses and those on their behalf so that everything can be taken into account."

Two girls holding the Macs sign that says 'save our business, say no to lay-by closure'

The family has been supported by customers and surrounding businesses - Credit: Macs on the Bridge

The McNally family raised their objections, along with customers and other businesses on the street. 

Mrs McNally said: "I've got over 1,000 people who have signed the petition, online and in-person. We've got support left, right and centre. 

"A lot of parents drop their kids there to pick up buses. The garage will be affected; people stop there to pop into the local shop.  

"It's not just us, but I'm trying to create as much noise as I possibly can. 

"I understand why they're doing it. I do get they want to shut the laybys for a pedestrian crossing for the new housing estate. 

"But does it have to go there? People have lived along Wherstead Road forever and there's never been a crossing there, so I just hope for a compromise."

Objections and other representations have been taken by Rebecca Farrow from Suffolk Legal (rebecca.farrow@suffolk.gov.uk) since the end of January, with submissions accepted until the end of day on February 15.