Car-friendly Ipswich gets top marks

IPSWICH has today been named one of the top ten car-friendly towns in Britain.It has also been praised for its petrol prices - some of the lowest in the country.

IPSWICH has today been named one of the top ten car-friendly towns in Britain.

It has also been praised for its petrol prices - some of the lowest in the country.

The Virgin Money survey looked at a range of issues facing drivers, including congestion, speed cameras, car parking prices, and levels of car crime.

Ipswich was placed seventh, while Telford was the most car-friendly town with cities such as London and Cardiff likely to drive motorists to despair.

Paul West, transport spokesman on Ipswich Council, said it was a nice accolade for the town but would probably spark some debate among motorists.

“I know some people will say, I don't believe that, but I think a survey like this puts us in context with other towns and cities of a similar size and while people may have problems getting about Ipswich at peak times, it's far worse in other towns,” he said.

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While government policy was anti-motorist in many senses, the council was trying to do its best to ensure traffic flowed smoothly.

“Some parts of the town are easier to get to from other parts and some more difficult, but we are trying to take a balanced approach to transport - both motorists and public transport - to help people live their lives, get to and from work, school, visiting parents and so on,” said Mr West.

Towns deemed more car-friendly than Ipswich were Telford, St Helens, Southend, Sunderland, Belfast and Poole.

Grant Bather, of Virgin Money, said: “Not all towns and cities are the same and many local authorities do their best to ensure drivers aren't treated like second-class citizens. Cars shouldn't rule the road but motorists' views need to be taken into consideration.”

Is Ipswich car-friendly or car-unfriendly? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk