Discussion of northern bypass for Ipswich brought to the fore again by A14 Orwell Bridge closure

An aerial view of the Orwell Bridge, which was shut during the high winds brought to Suffolk by Stor

An aerial view of the Orwell Bridge, which was shut during the high winds brought to Suffolk by Storm Doris. - Credit: Archant

Ipswich’s MP has said work must continue to provide the town with alternative routes for diverted Orwell Bridge traffic in the wake of yesterday’s closure.

The A14 over the River Orwell was shut for more than 10 hours due to Storm Doris, with traffic sent thorough Ipswich instead.

There had been better warning for drivers than on previous occasions, but Ben Gummer MP said this could only help so much.

He said there would be improvements with “better planning for bridge closures, but only around the margins.”

Mr Gummer repeated his view that the town needs other options to help deal with diverted A14 traffic in the future.

He added: “We need to press ahead with these two new projects, the wet dock crossing and a northern relief.”

Parts of Ipswich suffered heavily with the increased traffic, particularly in the evening rush hour.

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A road around the north of the town has been suggested as one way of easing traffic problems when the Orwell Bridge has to close.

The issue was raised most recently in November when high winds shut the bridge and was mentioned again during yesterday’s disruption.

In January three possible routes for such a road were revealed – although the start of any work could be at least 15 years away.

The most northerly route would run from the A14/A140 junction to the A12 at Melton, but would have the least effect on easing traffic in Ipswich.

The middle and inner options both join the A14 at Claydon, with the former meeting the A12 at Woodbridge and the latter at the Martlesham roundabout.

The exact path of all three routes has not been decided.