Could Bury Road park and ride reopen to help ease Ipswich traffic?
PUBLISHED: 07:30 24 January 2019
Serious talks are under way in Ipswich about re-opening the Bury Road park and ride centre which was closed by Suffolk County Council as a cost-cutting measure in 2011.
The site is owned by Ipswich council and part of it is currently in use as a car dealership – but the borough has always seen the reintroduction of the park and ride centre as a long-term aspiration.
Ipswich Buses – owned by the borough – recently extended its Number Eight service from Asda to the Anglia Retail Park which is next to the former park and ride site.
However the route to the town centre through the Whitehouse estate and along Bramford Road would probably be too long to attract park and ride customers.
Ipswich Council leader David Ellesmere said his officers were looking at the possibility of reopening park and ride – but they would need to involve the county council in those talks.
When it considered reopening a few years ago, there was a veiled threat from the county that if it reopened the other park and ride centres at Copdock Mill and Martlesham could be closed.
Reopening Bury Road would be supported by business groups in the town centre including Ipswich Central and the Ipswich Vision Partnership.
There is concern that the decision to abandon the largest element of the Upper Orwell Crossing could add seriously to traffic congestion in the town centre, and reopening Bury Road is one way to ease that pressure.
Mr Ellesmere added: “We are also looking at ways of reducing the amount of air pollution and taking more cars of the roads is important for that.
“But we do need to do more work on this – we realise that current operating network is not suitable for a park and ride service and that we would have to talk to the county and to bus operators to find a solution.
“We have always hoped to find a way to reopen the Bury Road park and ride – and we think we are moving towards that.”
Bury Road park and ride closed in January 2011 – the county council said it would save them £150,000 in the first year and £230,000 in subsequent years.
But since then it has changed the funding of the park and ride service – and businesses believe the cost of reopening would be small in comparison with the benefits from reducing traffic.