Food van handed lifeline as council set to reconsider lay-by closure plans

Ipswich MP supported the campaign to keep the lay-bys open, to ensure Macs on the Bridge could stay open

Ipswich MP supported the campaign to keep the lay-bys open, to ensure Macs on the Bridge could stay open - Credit: ARCHANT/TOM HUNT

A popular Ipswich food van could be saved as the council looks unlikely to support plans to change a lay-by.

Macs on the Bridge began its battle against the plans at the end of January when a consultation on introducing 'no waiting at any time' restrictions on the lay-bys at Wherstead Road was launched. 

Just over two weeks ago boss Samantha McNally spoke to this newspaper as part of the 'We'll Sort It' campaign, which aims to fix people's problems. 

She said that while she understood the need for a safe crossing, she hoped a compromise could be made in order to keep the business trading. 

More than 1,000 customers and supporters signed a petition against the plans – which required a pedestrian crossing in the vicinity of the new housing development at Bourne View.

Last week MP for Ipswich Tom Hunt visited Macs and wrote to Suffolk County Council leader Matthew Hicks, calling for the rescinding of the proposal to "promote and protect small businesses in Ipswich". 

A response from the council dated February 25 said: "Given the responses to the consultation, Suffolk County Council is not minded to support the new Traffic Regulation Order and has requested that the proposals are reconsidered. 

"Officers will work with the developer to see if the design can be amended to retain more parking spaces within the laybys and will look to re-consult on a revised Traffic Regulation Order in due course." 

Most Read

Speaking to this newspaper after the update, Sam McNally said: "It's good news, but I'm still waiting to see what the revised proposal is. It could only leave us with one or two parking spaces in the lay-by which wouldn't be ideal. 

"But we are happy. The stories in the paper and support from Tom Hunt has helped. 

"The fact that the letter was from the leader of Suffolk County Council speaks volumes about them taking it seriously. 

"I've still got a slight little worry that'll probably stay until they've built the crossing further down and we're left alone – but this experience has shown that sticking up for ourselves works."

If you have a problem and no one is listening, we want to hear from you. 

Get in touch by emailing Clarissa Place at clarissa.place@archant.co.uk and a member of the Ipswich Star team will be in touch.