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Avoid the congestion call from Suffolk as workers and pupils head back

PUBLISHED: 17:32 02 September 2020 | UPDATED: 06:59 03 September 2020

Suffolk is trying to encourage more people to get on their bikes like cabinet member Paul West and head of transport strategy Graeme Mateer.  Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Suffolk is trying to encourage more people to get on their bikes like cabinet member Paul West and head of transport strategy Graeme Mateer. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

Don’t bring back the congestion – that’s the message today to workers and families from Suffolk County Council as the staff start to head back to their workplaces and schools reopen their gates.

People are being asked to find new ways of travelling to avoid the risk of heavy traffic and pollution returning to towns in the area – especially Ipswich.

Walking or cycling would be the best way for people to travel, the council says, but it also urges them to consider other ways of travelling to and from work – including public transport – or staggering journeys rather than driving during traditional rush hours.

MORE: Suffolk encourages cycling in towns

This month will be, for many, the first time they have been allowed back to school or their workplace after lockdown was announced at the end of March.

The council says there are many things residents can do when travelling to reduce the risk of congestion:

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See if flexible working arrangements can be introduced or continued at your work to limit journeys being made at the same time.

School pupils that usually go on a public bus should check if their bus is now a dedicated school service.

Walk, cycle or scoot where you can for shorter journeys. With new cycle paths, pedestrianised zones and reduced speed limits across towns the council is trying to encourage more people to do this.

Use public transport for longer journeys – but you must wear a face covering for the entirety of your journey if you are more than 11 years old and are not exempt, and social distance where possible.

If you drive or car share with someone outside of your support bubble or family, you should share with the same people each time, open the windows for ventilation and wear a face covering. You should try and ensure some seats are free to social distance.

Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “There is no one size that fits all approach to transport and families and commuters will have a variety of circumstances to consider as we return to school and the workplace in unfamiliar circumstances.

“In our towns, many people may be able to walk, cycle or scoot to school, sixth form, college or their workplace. Where this is not possible, pupils and commuters could consider the use of public transport and even combine the two.

“I understand active travel and public transport are not possible options for everyone all of the time, other things do get in the way, but even if people make the change a couple of days a week, it will make a big difference.”


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