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Villages say 'No' to Northern Bypass

PUBLISHED: 14:08 16 July 2019 | UPDATED: 20:30 16 July 2019

Dr Dan Poulter and Robin Vickery work closely together - but they're on opposite sides of the Northern Route debate. Picture: Contributed

Dr Dan Poulter and Robin Vickery work closely together - but they're on opposite sides of the Northern Route debate. Picture: Contributed

Archant

A new campaign to oppose proposals for a Northern Route for Ipswich has been formed with the support of parish councillors from 19 villages to the north of the county town.

Stop the Ipswich Northern Bypass logo. Picture: ContributedStop the Ipswich Northern Bypass logo. Picture: Contributed

The "Stop the Northern Bypass" campaign has been set up just two weeks after Suffolk County Council and the leaders of district councils published three potential routes for the new road.

Residents have contacted MPs and councillors about the potential impact an Ipswich Northern Route would cause on the Fynn Valley and beyond.

Campaigners say an Ipswich Northern Bypass would be significantly detrimental to the natural environment and local habitats in one of Suffolk's most beautiful areas of countryside.

In a written answer to Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter, the Department for Transport said the Orwell Bridge had only been closed on average twice a year over the last four years - last year was exceptional, with six individual closures.

Joint founder of the group, Nick Green, said: "We started the Stop the Ipswich Northern Bypass campaign with the intention of bringing together all affected parties and working as one to halt the devastation these proposals will undoubtedly cause. The reaction and support garnered so far exceeds far beyond that which we had originally hoped for."

Fellow founder Nick Deacon added: "If a road of this type were to go ahead, the countryside to the north of Ipswich would be ruined forever and quickly built over with substantial house-building, bringing with it thousands more cars and simply adding to the problem of congestion in and around Ipswich."

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It is supported by Dr Poulter, who said: "It seems to me that the current proposals are largely about extra house-building that is not needed, and have very little indeed to do with decongesting Ipswich. There is little or no evidence to show that an Ipswich Northern Route, or bypass will do anything to reduce traffic congestion in Ipswich."

However county councillor Robin Vickery remains a supporter of the route. "We need a new road to ease congestion in Ipswich - and there will be new houses built in the area whether there's a new road or not," he said.

"And talking to villages like Westerfield or Great Bealings, people know there's a need for a new road to ease routes that drivers already use as a northern bypass."

19 villages opposing Northern Bypass plans

Parish council members from these villages to the north of Ipswich are backing the Stop the Northern Bypass campaign.

They are:

Akenham, Burgh, Clopton, Gosbeck, Great Bealings, Grundisburgh and Culpho, Hasketon, Hemingstone, Henley, Little Bealings, Playford, Stonham Aspal, Swilland and Witnesham, Tuddenham St Martin, Westerfield, Woodbridge, Rushmere St Mary.

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