Double boost for Ipswich northern by-pass as ministers free up money

A northern relief road could ease pressure on roads like this one in Westerfield. Picture: SARAH LUC

A northern relief road could ease pressure on roads like this one in Westerfield. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Hopes of getting a northern bypass for Ipswich have received a double boost from the government as it tries to encourage the growth of towns and cities across the country.

Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid told council leaders from across the country that the government was aiming to encourage developers to build new homes and bring in new infrastructure.

Meanwhile Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced that some of the money raised from Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) would be channelled to county councils to allow them to build new A-roads to boost economic activity.

Suffolk County Council leader Colin Noble was at the Local Government Association annual conference to hear Mr Javid say that councils would be encouraged to allow new homes – and the government would spend more on infrastructure including roads, schools and hospitals.

He said the two announcements could speed up work on a new road to the north of Ipswich that could be used to ease pressure on the A14/A12 and to allow drivers to reach new homes built to the north of the town.

Mr Noble said: “We are working on the plans for the Northern Relief Road, but to get the funding we do need to prove that there is a real economic benefit.

“But these announcements clearly show that the government has funding available to support projects like this and it could make it easier for us to make our case to them.”

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Other schemes that could benefit from the VED proposal are the four villages bypass on the A12 between Wickham Market and Saxmundham, also known as Suffolk’s Energy Gateway, and the Sudbury bypass proposal.

Announcing the government’s new Transport Investment Strategy, Mr Grayling said: “Getting transport spending right is crucial for the country’s future.”

Ipswich Labour MP Sandy Martin welcomed the announcements from the government and said he would be seeking more details on the money available.

He said: “I shall work to ensure the money is made available and keep pressing for it to be included in government plans for the future.”

He added that he hoped to work with neighbouring Conservative MP Dr Dan Poulter to come up with a relief road proposal.