Call for street to be pedestrianised

ONE of Ipswich town centre's leading figures has called for Upper Brook Street to be pedestrianised in a bid to revitalise the stretch of shops.The street has suffered in recent months from a number of departures including Pizza Hut, Stationary Box and Harpers Sports.

ONE of Ipswich town centre's leading figures has called for Upper Brook Street to be pedestrianised in a bid to revitalise the stretch of shops.

The street has suffered in recent months from a number of departures including Pizza Hut, Stationary Box and Harpers Sports.

Paul Clement, head of Ipswich Central said he feels the recent departures are down to market forces rather than issues with the town but said the area would benefit from a change of thinking.

He said: “The truth is businesses are moving in to the town as well as moving out.

“What tends too happen is that businesses will trade through Christmas and the New Year and in any town or city you always get retail closures in the early part of the year, but we can't bury our heads in the sand.

“I believe that Upper Brook Street would be transformed if it was pedestrianised. Consumers like pedestrianised shopping streets.

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“It has been talked about for years but is something that for some reason hasn't happened and should do.

“If done correctly it would mean the bus routes going through Upper Orwell Street which would make a great difference to that area and extend the town centre.”

Upper Orwell Street has fallen into a dilapidated state in recent years.

The majority of shops are owned by NCP which is behind the planned £230million Mint Quarter shopping centre.

Fears have previously been raised that tenants are unwilling to take on short-term leases on the street prior to development work getting underway at some point in the future.

Mr Clement said he was keen to speak to Ipswich Borough Council about its plans for Upper Brook Street and find out whether pedestrianisation is on the agenda.

Paul West, Ipswich council's transport spokesman, said he could see the benefit of such a move and has said he will raise it for discussion to look at the cost.

n. Do you think the street should be pedestrianised? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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